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03 August 2009

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batondor

Welcome back, Pat... I hope you got the respite that you needed...

... and your last two posts seem to indicate a return en pleine forme!

I see a potential rough spot, if not a disconnect, between your Af-Pak "ruminations" (though I think you separate "Af" from "Pak") and your limited endorsement of the foreign policy team (though they should still be happy with it). Simply put, if you are concerned that McChrystal and Rodriguez are setting the COIN bar higher than it need be so that the decision to fish or cut bait will be a foregone conclusion on the side of the undoable, who within the defense triumvirate (as I see it) - Gates, Jones, and Petraeus - is ultimately going to be the deciding "vote" when Obama calls the roll the next time?

For what it's worth, I think the political leadership (i.e., Biden, Clinton, Kerry, Lugar, McCain, etc.) may cancel each other out, especially if Kerry comes back from Afghanistan and Pakistan with (re)new(ed) doubts (I believe he is headed there with McCain in mid-August)... and in any case, I think the Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees are going to have some really important hearings in the autumn...

William R. Cumming

OBAMA in my view is the very last President of the US who will be elected largely on a domestic platform. By the 2012 election is will be evident to even the most obtuse that foreign policy and foreign relations will control the future of the success or failure of the US. The odd thing ist that the first 5 President's of the US also knew that foreign policy and foreign relations were the key to the future success of the US! Remarkably they let domestic affairs drift or rather with somewhat benign neglect. In reality Biden is competing to remain on the ticket in 2012 and Clinton to replace him. Personally I hope he is replaced for a number of reasons.
We could be in for a stunning array of foreign policy changes over the next 7 years (note assuming that OBAMA will do whatever it takes even when unwise for long run of the US to be re-elected. He has the nose for power even beyond his competence). What am I talking about? Fidel dies! Mexican Revolution! Iranian Revolution! Post-American deployment Iraqi invasion of Kuwait? Saudi revolution? Framentation of Iraq! Fragmentation of Pakistan! Indian/Pakistan War! North Korean collapse!
Comet striks like one that just hit Jupiter (just joking I hope). World wide economic collapse? No longer will US have competent leadership if OJT on foreign policy and foreign relations required.

alnval

Col. Lang:

IMO the quality of the questions posed by the National Journal continue to have little substance. They appear to grow out of a management style that views everything as a potential conflict but is unable to assign priorities as to which should be dealt with first. Where to place the water cooler has the same signicance for these people as editorial content. This lack of critical thinking seriousy detracts from what otherwise might be a valuable discussion.

Jackie

Col.,
I know a guy here in town who went to law school in D.C. He had a bunch of friends there. One went to work for Ted Kennedy in the Senate. He asked his friend who was the most "patriotic" Senator, meaning concerned most about America's problems. The answer was Joe Biden. He was the Senator most concerned about US and least likely to sell us out.

Jose

Now Bill Clinton is getting involved in foreign policy, so many cooks in the kitchen...

optimax

"they're in a situation where the world is changing before them and they're clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable." The only problem I see with Biden's statement is that he didn't include the U.S.. If Obama doesn't change his economic policies, he will be a one term president and the coming right-wing backlash may make the Bush/Chaney years look temperate.

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