Wednesday, January 25, 2006

An interesting argument

I have to admit I've had trouble assessing the Iraq war. Part of me sympathizes with the idea preempting what was at least then a perceived threat. On the other hand, I see how this has turned many countries even more against us and redirected resources that could have been better used against greater threats. Now that we're there, though, I think it's important to be successful in reaching our goals so we don't face the same kind of humiliation we've experienced before.

Well, the article we read for Monday by R.D.Hooker posed one of the most convincing arguments to me against this kind of war. He says that military misadventure like Iraq is dangerous because it declines the credibility of the military in citizens' eyes. According to him, this is a serious problem because America needs to commit to the idea of war in order to preserve our freedoms and institutions against the coming onslaught (Clash of Civilizations-esque).

I think this is a good point. Now that we've gotten ourselves into so much political correctness trouble by going to war with Iraq, and there's so much criticism at home and abroad, it will probably be difficult to sustain a military commitment that we need to defend ourselves in the future. It will be hard to reestablish the credibility of our military missions in the eyes of the American and international publics. That is, unless another 9/11 brings the threat back to our attention.


Cavour said...

To be fair, the American military has always been reluctant to support military ventures that don't have an obvious connection to American security. There was strong opposition to entering WWI and WWII (until Pearl Harbor). There was also strong opposition throughout Korea and Vietnam. More recently, I remember hearing a great deal of debate over whether or not we should have gotten involved in Kosovo. Americans tend to be reluctant to go to war unless they see a clear connection to American security.

Cavour said...

I'm sorry. That first line should say "the American public has always..."