Foreign Policy Iraq Politics

The ultimate feelgood war

Simon Jenkins writing in The Guardian:

The Americans are right, that if you want something done in the world, get a nation to do it, not an inter-nation. I may be opposed to both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but there is a significant difference between them noticeable to any visitor to their capitals. In Baghdad, America is unmistakably in charge and the world follows. There is a clear line of command that leads, however misguidedly, to Washington. Things get done.

Afghanistan is the opposite, the embodiment of Tharoor’s globalism in practice. Some 30 nations piled into Kabul after 2001, under the banners of Nato and the UN. There was and remains no coherence, no agreed strategy and a perpetual feuding over rules of engagement, use of air power and policies for anti-corruption and counter-narcotics. Things do not get done.

Some 10,000 UN, Nato and NGO officials and their hangers-on fall over each other in the streets of Kabul. Command structures overlap. It is a recipe for failure. Yet because the “international community” has given Afghanistan its blessing, the intervention must be benign. It is the ultimate feelgood war.

Election 2008 Foreign Policy McCain Politics The War on Terrorism

Questions about McCain’s Foreign Policy

Relating to my previous post evaluating McCain’s foreign policy as a “realistic idealist”, here are two of my remaining questions:

  • Are you seeking to defend the current international system? To reform it? To undermine it? To create a new system?
    Some of your allies on the right claim that you are seeking to undermine the international system – which they see as constraining American power. Your tone is clearly conciliatory – enraging your enemies on the right such as Rush Limbaugh. Charles Krauthammer described one of the “hidden agendas” of your foreign policy as “killing the UN.” …
  • And a question from George Will:

    You say you are not “ready to go to war with Iran,” but you also say the “one thing worse” than “exercising the military option” is “a nuclear-armed Iran.” Because strenuous diplomacy has not dented Iran’s nuclear ambitions, is not a vote for you a vote for war with Iran?