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Showing posts with label foreign policy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label foreign policy. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hot Shots: War Games Edition

Rummy-soaked Plans: We couldn’t let the tenth anniversary of the Iraq war pass without revisiting a 2002 Donald Rumsfeld memo that identified 29 “potential problems” with an invasion. No. 2: “If the US preempts in one country, does it mean it will pre-empt in all other terrorist states?”  (Only in your neocon dreams...) No. 29: “Iraq could successfully best us in public relations and persuade the world that the war is against Muslims.” (That was a question?)  And finally (drum roll, please), No. 13: “US could fail to find WMD on the ground in Iraq and be unpersuasive to the world.”  Sounds like a Letterman Top Ten.  One wonders why Rumsfeld would draw such an accurate and comprehensive list of problems and then ignore them. Odd duck, him.  Onset Alzheimer’s maybe?

These and other Iraq War gems comes to us courtesy of the private National Security Archive at George Washington University, which is presenting on its Web site 12 key documents, ranging from a 1999 CENTCOM war game report on “potential outcomes of an invasion of Iraq aimed at unseating Saddam Hussein,” to a 2006 CIA “analysis of its own failure to realize that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program was non-existent,” and much, much more. While these documents mainly serve to reinforce what everyone already knows--that Iraq’s WMD program was virtually nonexistent and the US were not prepared at all for a post-invasion rebuild--they also begin to answer the two remaining questions the public has about the War in Iraq: “whether the United States truly believed that Iraq's supposed WMD capabilities posed an imminent danger, and whether the results of the engagement have been worth the high costs to both countries.”

How Iran Can Beat Israel: In his 2012 book “The Second Nuclear Age,”  Yale professor Paul Bracken presented a war scenario that resulted in a minimally nuclear-armed Iran defeating a U.S.-allied Israel with hardly firing a shot.  The key players in the crisis, of course, were the United States, Israel, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Romney's 3 am Phone Call

Arguably the most memorable political ad during Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign for the White House was the “3 AM phone call.” 

“It’s 3 am and your children are safe and asleep.  But there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing. Something's happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call. Whether it’s someone who already knows the world’s leaders. Knows the military. Someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world ... Who do you want answering the phone?”

If the last 36 hours are any guide, you don’t want Mitt Romney answering that phone. In fact, you don’t want him anywhere near the White House situation room, ever.

You do want Barack Obama picking up that phone. For if Obama’s surprising performance over the past three-plus years as commander in chief is any guide, he’s calm, cool, collected--and effective--in a crisis, no matter what you think of his domestic policies or drone strikes.

Romney, in contrast, is an excitable lad. He’s exactly what you don’t want in a commander-in-chief, which is to say, he’s impetuous, not to mention shallow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Herman Cain is a Foreign Policy Moron

Worried about Herman Cain getting a 3 a.m. call in the White House about, say, Israel attacking Iranian nuclear sites?

Worry about 3 p.m. instead.  Or 10 a.m., noon, dinnertime, whenever.

The 3 a.m. phone call, of course, was the infamous nightmare scenario that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton raised against Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign. Say what you will about Obama as president--and there's plenty to say--his stewardship of foreign affairs could have turned out far, far worse, considering he inherited two reckless wars and constant pressure to start yet a third, on Iran.

Say what you will, he's no dummy.

But Herman Cain? After you watch the now-viral video of Cain paralyzed by a simple question on  Libya, you’ll know for certain that he doesn't belong anywhere near the nation's nuclear codes, much less as president.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Congress Has Netanyahu’s Back as Global Criticism of Israel Rises

Longtime Middle East hand and CQ Weekly senior editor Jonathan Broder has a revealing analysis out on how militantly pro-Israel groups have tightened their hold on congressional purse strings even as Benjamin Netanyahu’s muscular policies on the Palestinian territories and the expansion of Jewish settlements has inflamed world opinion.

The prime minister arrives in Washington this week and is expected to visit the White House on Friday. At the invitation of congressional Republicans, he is scheduled to address a joint congressional session on Tuesday.

“Not that long ago, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, as the most powerful pro-Israel lobby is better known, was having an unusually difficult time in Washington,” Broder writes in the May 16 edition of the magazine (subscription required).

“First, a lingering 2005 spy scandal involving two former AIPAC officials threatened to scar the lobby with a debilitating brand of dual loyalty. Then, a 2007 book by two influential scholars openly questioned Israel’s strategic value to the United States. Finally, the 2009 election of Israel’s conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disappointed the White House and many Democrats, opening up political space for J Street, the new left-wing pro-Israel group, to challenge AIPAC’s influence among lawmakers.”

Not to worry.