Issues / War & Peace
Debating the surging defense budget and its effect on domestic spending went out of fashion after 9-11 with all that talk about Homeland Security.
Under President Clinton, it became U.S. policy to deploy a National Missile Defense (NMD) system “as soon as technologically feasible.”
With the nomination of Karen Hughes as the new undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, the United States has the potential to embark on a new and more effective phase in its communication with the international community, particularly with the Arab and Islamic world.
Amid the orgy of self-congratulation over the bravery of Iraqi voters, officials and commentators have ignored the most important story of the election results: a Sunni electoral boycott that demonstrates a level of support for the insurgency in the Sunni triangle that is far greater than what the administration has admitted.
While the U.S., India, and Great Britain have sharply condemned the Feb. 1 coup by King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah of Nepal, the policies of those three governments vis-à-vis the ongoing civil war in the Himalayan nation must share considerable blame for the present crisis.
When newly appointed CIA Director Porter Goss recently warned that Chinas modernization of its military posed a direct threat to the U.S., was it standard budget time scare tactics?
Largely unnoticed with the focus on the war and insurgency in Iraq, and overshadowed by an upsurge in violence in Saudi Arabia, terrorist violence is also on the increase in neighboring Kuwait.
While on one level appointing John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations is the contemporary equivalent of having King Herod as head of UNICEF, there is some comfort to be drawn from it. He will be singularly ineffective in winning friends and support for the White House’s policies.
It is now time for the United States to pursue the one policy option that has been missing from the national discussion of Iraq: the negotiation of a peace settlement with the insurgents that would involve the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in return for the surrender of the insurgents and the reintegration of the Sunni region into the post-Saddam political system.
The Iraq War launched by the Bush administration 24 months ago is draining lives--U.S., Iraqi, and others--and treasure that should be devoted to other human needs.