Archive for January, 2007

The Politics of Military Strategy

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Let me get this straight. The U.S. Senate has a Constitutional duty to confirm the new commander of the new strategy in Iraq. The Armed Services Committee has unanimously, 25-0, endorsed the nomination of General Petraeus. Everybody loves General Petraeus. He is expected to sail through the Senate. General Petraeus is being confirmed to implement the new strategy, which he believes in and endorses.

The U.S. Senate does not have a Constitutional duty to devise and manage U.S. war strategy, but they are nevertheless taking it upon themselves to pass a ringing non-endorsement of the new strategy, because it’s a mistake and it won’t work. Of course they all support the troops, who are being sent to Iraq for a mistaken policy that will get some of them killed, and where they will be led by a General who believes in this doomed strategy, and who also believes that passage of such a resolution will benefit our enemies.

I happen to believe that the new strategy has a real chance, and that even if there is no immediate success, it is in our interest to remain in Iraq until we do achieve success. But no matter what your opinion of the war or the new strategy or of the necessity to remain in Iraq, how can the actions of the Democrats and some of the Republicans in the Senate be seen as anything but the most disgusting hypocrisy, cowardice, and ignorance, that can only do damage to our country?

The proposed non-binding resolutions embolden the enemy and demoralize the troops, to a greater or lesser extent, without any positive benefit whatsoever, except perhaps some short-term political benefit to some Senators. If the new strategy is wrong, if the war is wrong, then vote to not confirm General Petraeus, and vote to cut off funds, perform your Constitutional duty. If you’re not ready to do that, if you think that the new General and the new strategy might have some slight chance of success, then give him as much support as you can. The course being followed by a majority of Senators is the worst of both worlds.