Freedom from Blog

Don't call it a comeback . . . .

Monday, April 13, 2009


Fareed Zakaria has a good column in Newseek right now. No, I don't think Robert Gates is a "genius," although I am sure he scores quite high on IQ tests. What he certainly is is a true public servant and, of more interest to me, one hell of a bureaucrat (not a dirty word in this house). I mean, they bring the guy in to clean up Rummie's mess--and I mean the Bush team, by "they," of course--and he stays on under Obama--quite a different administration--to take on the military-industrial complex (sort of). It's hard to imagine two less attractive tasks.

The point I wanted to make, and it is isn't original with me, is, what exactly is all this military might for?

Oh, sure, it's to keep us safe. But 11 carrier groups didn't protect us from 9/11. We can project power all over the world, but in many places (e.g., Darfur) we are loath to do so, and in others (e.g., Iraq) we have been too eager. Our vast arsenal doesn't make the North Korean situation any more tractable, and many of our greatest potential risks, whether nuclear terrorism or climate change, aren't solvable through high explosives.

Military might is not the answer to every question. Indeed, it is hard to say what question today it is the answer to.

But this appears to be one of the things that you can't say in American politics. Good luck to Gates and the Obama administration, but I fear that this game is fixed.


Post a Comment

<< Home