Monday, September 06, 2004

The Pentagon's New Map

This weekend on C-SPAN I saw the author of this piece lecture on the military’s new role in the world. It was informative and gave a taste of the kind of thinking that is going on in the Pentagon. The piece I linked to covers part of his lecture, though it was written prior to the Iraqi invasion so it doesn’t cover the current state of security in Iraq. If you get a chance to see it on C-SPAN, it will be worth your time.

On a related note: the Belmont Club has this post about our missile defense posture that was noteworthy.


RL said...

Tom has been reading too much of the project for a new american century site. If he didn't have four names, I would think he was a die hard football fanatic.
The fact is that the middle-easterners are not like us. If we keep stirring the pot and make them fight for their homeland and religious beliefs then we will stay overextended and continue on the slippery slope from the world's respected superpower to a has been status from which we may never recover. The stakes are high, we have already lost more than we could possibly gain.

Jeffrey Hill said...

Indeed, the stakes are high. If you consider Arabs in Afghanistan, Bali, Madrid and Chechnya to be fighting for their homeland, then you’re on a different plane of reality. If you believe there’s some sort of just cause at work with Syrians in Lebanon or Iranians in Najaf, then perhaps it’s no surprise you find the Project for a New American Century (I prefer Bush’s term: Liberty Century) distasteful. Militant Islamists don’t have any allusions about expanding their intolerant influence. Why do we? The U.S. reluctantly stirred the pot because the 9/10 status quo turned out to be unacceptable.

People in the Middle East may be different, but not so different that they are doomed to live under oppressive autocracies and theocracies. The 10 million newly registered Afghani voters suggest that they want a representative government.

I’m not sure what you mean by losing more than we can hope to gain. If you are referring to world respect, I’d say it has already increased, even as goodwill and warm fuzzy accolades have waned. We will only lose respect if we show a lack of resolve with what we were forced to start. As for the US and coalition casualties in Iraq, I’d toss in the 3,000 civilians killed on 9/11 and the hundreds before that during multiple attacks in the 90s before determining what’s at stake.

Finally, if there’s an alternate plan out there to address the terror problem at the root, I’d like to hear it.