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By lizbethie - Posted on 05 December 2009
Very good, insightful article. This stood out to me:
Obama, by contrast, doesn't need to go hunting for grand challenges.
From preventing a depression to providing universal health care to
stopping global warming, he has them in spades. Bush could afford to
define the war on terrorism broadly because he didn't think anything
going on at home was nearly as important. Obama, on the other hand,
must find space (and money) for what he sees as equally grave domestic
threats. Bush loved the ominous, elastic noun terrorism. Obama, according to an analysis by Politico, has publicly uttered the words health and economy twice as often as terrorism, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan
combined. Even his decision to temporarily send more troops to
Afghanistan was framed as a way to allow the U.S. to eventually
disengage from the war.
Obama is also shrinking the war on terrorism because, although he won't
say so out loud, he's scaled back Bush's assessment of American power.
When Bush invaded Iraq, the U.S. was coming off a decade of low-cost
military triumphs — from Panama in 1989 to the Gulf War in 1991 to
Bosnia in 1995 to Kosovo in 1999. And back then, Afghanistan looked
like a triumph too. It was easy to believe that the U.S. Military —
through a combination of force and threats of force — could prevail
over a slew of hostile regimes and movements at the same time. And it
was easy to believe that the U.S. could afford these military
adventures, particularly for conservatives like Dick Cheney, who
famously declared that "deficits don't matter." Finally, in the wake of
communism's collapse and the spread of democracy throughout the
developing world, hawks tended to see dictatorships as brittle, devoid
of popular support. This epic faith in the U.S.'s military, economic
and ideological power fueled Bush's decision to define the war on
terrorism as the U.S. against the field. It was like the way Americans
once talked about Olympic basketball: we were so much better than all
the others that they might as well combine into one opposing team so we
could take them all on at the same time.
I agree Kelly. The article really made clear just how different Obama's strategy is than that of Bush's, as much as the far left would like to say otherwise.
I feel even better after reading this; it confirmed to me what I had already thought. President Obama is moving forward with military force, not with the "might makes right" philosophy of Bush, but rather with force as well as diplomacy, strategy, a clear exit plan and a course of action set in reality not in ideology.
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