Friday seems like a good day to discuss politics and foreign policy.
There is an old axiom- Republicans get us into wars, and Democrats get us out of wars.
For decades, the Republicans have run as the party who was more committed to keeping the US strong. Whats wrong with this picture now?
The NY Times Reported Tuesday:
For decades, the Army has kept a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division on round-the-clock alert, poised to respond to a crisis anywhere in 18 to 72 hours. Today, the so-called ready brigade is no longer so ready. Its soldiers are not fully trained, much of its equipment is elsewhere, and for the past two weeks the unit has been far from the cargo aircraft it would need in an emergency.
Pentagon officials worry that among the just over 20 Army brigades left in the United States or at Army bases in Europe and Asia, none has enough equipment and manpower to be sent quickly into combat, except for an armored unit stationed permanently in South Korea, several senior Army officers said.
Rumpole says- It seems to us that our nation was stronger and better able to respond to emergencies when President Clinton was in office. President Bush took office scoffing at President Clinton’s predilection for using airpower and not sending troops into conflicts.
“Boots on the Ground” was what W wanted when faced with a crisis. President Clinton was able to respond to the crisis in Kosovo without ensnaring the country in an endless ground war. His management of that crisis doesn’t seem so bad in retrospect now, does it?
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gave a press conference right after Baghdad fell. He scoffed at the critics who said the country was entering a “quagmire.”
Former Secretary of State Collin Powell was widely quoted as telling President Bush before the current war that “You break it-you bought it” in reference to plans to invade Iraq.
History has vindicated the advice one of those men gave to their President.
We think the lesson from this whole mess is this- war is a difficult endeavor.
The military action to liberate Kuwait was an anomaly. Wars aren’t normally played out in 100 hours of ground action. However, as a country, we became intoxicated by our success in the first Gulf War, and we ignored the lessons of history.
Now we are paying the price.
The Professionals- Powell, General Shalikashvali, and a whole host of others warned the amateurs (Clinton, Bush, Rumsfeld) about the perils of committing troops and going to war.
One of those three men was smart enough to listen to those who knew more than he did. The other two bear the responsibility for over three thousand American lives, a hundred thousand Iraqi lives, and countless men and women injured.
The world is not a safer place.
The United States is not in a better position to stop North Korea or Iran or China should they start a military action.
This is price the world is paying for for the Hubris of Rumsfeld and Bush.
The Greeks warned us about Hubris. When will we listen?