Friday, July 29, 2005

A Quagmire by Any Other Name

You've probably all heard by now that the "Global War on Terror" is now the "Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism."

I wonder:

Are we now in a declared state of national struggle?

Have we switched to a struggletime footing?

Will there be a new series of special presidential struggle powers?

Will the detainees at GITMO be granted prisoner of struggle status?

Will the Treasury Department issue struggle bonds?

And hey--

Is there such a thing as The International Law of Armed Struggle? Gee, if there's not, we don't have to follow it, do we?


Have a good weekend.




  1. Ah, G-SAVE, the Global Struggled Against Violent Extremism, or "George" SAVES :)

  2. The beauty part is that it's still a something against an ism--the enemy, as before, is undefined.


  3. Our (gradually reduced) presence in Iraq will be required for the next five to ten years. There is a philosophy that militaries in democracies must adopt. A military force must understand itself to be a tool of the state, subjected to civilian power. The Iraqi military cannot be abandoned until we ensure that they have the necessary institutional ethos of protecting civilian power. An alternative to anarchy could also be a military coup by a self-perceived independent actor.

    On the other hand, it seems the media is getting bored with Bush’s resolve. The topic of a troop withdrawal may be just that - a way to stir the pot.

    I hope this isn’t just wishful thinking on my part. I hope there are people that understand the consequences of an early withdrawal, and will withstand the mounting pressure of shortsightedness.

  4. Kira,

    IMO, the issue is a heck of a lot more complex than "get out now" and "stay there forever."

    Complex enough that we can all probably write about it for many, many years.


  5. Jeff, that is why I explained why our EVENTUALLY reduced presence is still required, until the Iraqi military is ready to serve a civilian government and protect the country against the foreign insurgents from neighboringcountries (who happen to be killing more Iraqis than Americans). Please read the comments on my post, some of which provide outstandingdetails of why we are not finished.

  6. Kira,

    The general categories are fairly obvious: security, government, infrastructure, and economy.

    My position is that until we start developing metrics (measures of effectiveness, objectives, milestones, etc) we don't really have a plan for Iraq. We have a wish. And you know what they say about wishes and fishes.