Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Way to Win in 2008... Then What?

An article in today's online Washington Post discusses the book The Way to Win in 2008 which outlines the "Trade Secrets" of modern politics. The book states that the long reigns of the Bush and Clinton families are no accident and that these groups knew the tried and true principles. The first is to rigorously study the successes and failures of your party before running and those of the adminsitration that preceded you. Wow. That's really insightful. And I thought you just woke up one morning and decided to be president. I am curious as to what other advice this novel gives. Anyways- off the topic.

In extension of class today a couple of thoughts:

North Korea: We know they have nukes. Unlike some past precedents we have set against unallied states, we have not invaded. At what point do we invade? And, what happens if they launch a nuclear missile at one of their neighboring nations. Do we step in or do we let them work it out on their own? Do we send an army or nuke back?

As for Podhoretz: He claims that we need to go big or go home. Well, just go big. I understand he believes that a more forceful policy would have deterred some previous attacks. But the US engaged in a pretty specific and determined foreign policy post 9/11 which did not deter the group of terrorists our intelligence just caught a few months ago. These hijackers were not deterred by our foreign policy, admittedly more forceful than in the past. What does he say about this?

Back to my initial comment on the book. What happens in 2008 when the administration changes? Republican or Democrat? Both are likely to do some restructuring, albeit one more than the other. When this happens what are we saying to terrorist organizations? Dr. Farley's analysis on weakness was really interesting, but it kind of sucks for us. If we can't change opinions of our actions why bother changing the actions? Let's just get something and stick with it. It's a bold statement, sure. But, while still perceived as weak we would at least be consistent. We would have an unwavering grand strategy and the world would always know where we stand. If you invade Iraq under suspicion it makes no sense to let N. Korea gloat in your face. Let's start today. Or possibly 2008 depending on your political affiliation.

1 comment:

Gus Van Rant said...

In regards to North Korea, we don't actually know that they have nukes. Intelligence estimtates say that they might have enough for 2-5 missiles, but these estimates come from the same source that said that Iraq had WMDs. We won't know for sure until they test.

Lastly, if North Korea does launch a nuclear attack you can bet we won't be on the sidelines because they're two targets (South Korea or Japan) are allies with a sizeable American military presence. They launch, we're going to war...and this one might be justified.