Tuesday, August 17, 2004

More C+ Strategery
Harry Truman must be turning over in his grave.

The planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Europe and Asia that President Bush announced this week, if allowed to stand, could lead to the demise of the United States' key alliances across the globe, including the one that Truman considered his greatest foreign policy accomplishment: NATO.
The president proposes something that generations of U.S. diplomats and soldiers fought to prevent and that our adversaries sought unsuccessfully to achieve: radical reduction of U.S. political and military influence on the European and Asian continents. The Bush message, delivered at a campaign rally, also smells of political opportunism. Under pressure but unable to withdraw troops from Iraq, the president has instead reached for what his advisers hope is the next best thing politically -- a pledge to bring the boys home from Europe and Asia.

The president's plan is unfortunately further evidence of the strategic myopia that has afflicted this administration and is undercutting the United States' standing in the world. At a time when we should be mobilizing and reinvigorating our alliances in Europe and Asia, we are dismantling them. Instead of creating multilateral structures to mobilize the world in a common struggle against terrorism and new anti-Western ideologies and movements, we opt for a unilateral course that leaves us with fewer friends. As opposed to balancing the political and military requirements of a new era and coming up with a new troop deployment plan that meets both needs, the administration allows the Pentagon to ride roughshod over broader U.S. strategy and diplomacy and destroy the work of generations of diplomats and soldiers.
Sen. John Kerry has recognized that the lesson of Sept. 11 is that the U.S. need for allies is going up, not down. He has pledged to make the reinvigoration of U.S. alliances a foreign policy priority. He has claimed that his election would allow for a "fresh start" and close a remarkably divisive chapter in relations with many of our close allies. There is little doubt that Kerry's election would be enthusiastically welcomed in both Europe and Asia. But it is time for the senator to take the next step and lay out a concrete plan for how his administration would reverse the damage done by President Bush and reinvigorate the United States' alliances to meet the dangers we face. Part of that plan should be to freeze and review the ill-conceived plan the president put forth this week in Ohio.[Nitpicker emphasis]
Frankly, I don't think this will work politically either but I guess will find that out soon enough. Yes, demonstration of the same myopia (or lack of imagination) that concluded there were only two options for Iraq, the military misadventure or allowing Saddam to go completely unchecked. I recently commented on a right wing blog (can't say that I recall the blog) that was recommending a literacy test be passed prior to being able to cast a vote - that it was a great idea as long as any candidate who couldn't pass would also be removed from the ballot. No more *C+ students![*more likely a D student given a little leniency for his genealogy.]


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11:55 AM  

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