Thinking Strategically
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  • Anthony

    “…we need to think through the various contingencies that may arise as a result of our actions….” The aforementioned is sound advise and definitely ought to be part of any strategic thinking.

  • Can they get at us? From Yemen, I mean? If our enemy is so weak and remote that he can’t even reach us then maybe best to ignore him. Same goes for Afghanistan.

    But, oh, you say, look what happened last time. Al Qaida set up base camps and brought down the World Trade Center. True, they did that. But only because we let our guard down here at home. Criminal negligence — is that the right word? Like when George W. ran on a platform of no more profiling of Arabs on airliners.

    Even so it took us about no time to run the Taliban out of Afghanistan. Do you think the next Taliban government will invite Al Qaida back? I don’t think so.

    We should bank on our power to destroy a regime if we wish, not to control a country. That’s good enough. And a lot cheaper. This is just my amateur take on the topic.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    “We don’t hesitate to celebrate the Obama Administration’s foreign policy successes when they get something right, and we also don’t believe in taking nasty potshots every time something goes wrong.”

    Criticism is more important than praise, just as people learn more from their mistakes than from their successes, so to does government. But being a monopoly, government isn’t as influenced by criticism as individuals and so the criticism must be harsh to have any effect at all.

  • Corlyss

    “it’s simply not a good idea to start a fight, or to deepen a fight, that you are not prepared to do what is necessary to win it.”

    Regretably, this has been a hallmark of Post Vietnam American foreign policy, esp. under Democratic presidents. They lack a definitive view of what interest is at stake (I submit that human rights or “humanitarian disaster” is not a valid reason do anything expect perhaps pray). Because so many of them despise the military except when it is performing humanitarian missions and they eschew military service, they lack an appreciation for the limits of military action (a problem that muddled even Bush II who had military exposure if not exactly experience and who didn’t actively hate the military). They put too much emphasis on the human aspects of foreign policy and too little on the strategic aspects of American goals. The one thing the amateurs on TeamO have gotten right is the Asia shift. Whether that results in an Asia policy that focuses on strategic interests as opposed to barking about human rights remains to be seen, esp. since TeamO publicly despises business and capitalism, instruments that would ordinarily help shape our strategic interests in the region.

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