The good and the bad about the Obama war doctrine…

What I don’t like about the Obama approach is telling the enemy when we are going to quit. That’s absurd. What I do like about it is facing the fact that it is not in our interest and not practical to always use American force any time we see something we don’t like.

And as so many observers have observed, nation building is a mistake — it’s too costly in blood and treasure and it doesn’t seem to work — Iraq anyone? Even George W. campaigned against nation building and then inexplicably went on to do it in what is said to have been maybe the biggest military blunder of all time, Iraq.

And I think I’ve written this before and I heard one commentator say it yesterday, when we need to use military force to, say, oust the Taliban from somewhere, maybe they were talking about Afghanistan, we should go in there and do it and then leave, letting them know that if they cause a stir again,  we’ll be back.

I wholeheartedly agree with Obama that we should only use military force when our nation is directly threatened, at least I think that is what he said.

On the other hand, I don’t agree with cutbacks in our military. If anything, in this hostile world we need to keep it strong and even make it stronger. Of course we need to keep it efficient too.

The concept of drone warfare makes me nervous. Too impersonal. Too 1984 (Orwellian). It could get way out of hand.

And President Eisenhower was right on: you know his warning about the threat of the military industrial complex pushing us into needless war.

And finally, what a predicament for soldiers in the field. Who wants to be the last man (or woman) to die in the Middle East wars?

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