Sorry Security

On some down time I’ve tried to read through the new National Security Strategy but it is difficult. In my mind, the words have no reference to anything real, which makes the document sort of weightless and strange, like some sort alien goo.

We want we want we want but can’t give with grins and silly waves and faces and words like democracy and obligation and fingers up at what

5 thoughts on “Sorry Security

  1. Josh

    That “against” should have been capitalized: War Against Terrorism.

    Which is a big difference. Of course any reasonable person is against terrorism. But there is clearly differences in the methods in fighting it. Right now there is a ton of opposition to the current War Against Terrorism because it’s been labeled “George Bush’s War Against Terrorism”.

    And because Bush is the one leading the fight, many liberals are against the War Against Terrorism.

    Which makes me wonder: If any reasonable person is against terrorism, how exactly can so many reasonable people think that that war can be fought any other way but militarily?

  2. Steve Post author


    You’re asking loaded questions hard to deal with in comment space: but there are several answers. One is to follow the progress of the Middle East Partner Initiative or MEPI and to factor in how much the military will play a role in that effort. The other is to consider US history of supporting autocracy in the region in a realistic way. Another is to consider that the military cannot change “culture,” politics, and social realities.

    I myself think the term “War on Terror” and “War Against Terror” are marketing terms. Might as well have a War Against Walking At Night.

    Just a bit from Paul Eaton on incompetence:

    Last, you don’t expect a secretary of defense to be criticized for tactical ineptness. Normally, tactics are the domain of the soldier on the ground. But in this case we all felt what L. Paul Bremer, the former viceroy in Iraq, has called the “8,000-mile screwdriver” reaching from the Pentagon. Commanders in the field had their discretionary financing for things like rebuilding hospitals and providing police uniforms randomly cut; money to pay Iraqi construction firms to build barracks was withheld; contracts we made for purchasing military equipment for the new Iraqi Army were rewritten back in Washington.

    Donald Rumsfeld demands more than loyalty. He wants fealty. And he has hired men who give it. Consider the new secretary of the Army, Francis Harvey, who when faced with the compelling need to increase the service’s size has refused to do so. He is instead relying on the shell game of hiring civilians to do jobs that had previously been done by soldiers, and thus keeping the force strength static on paper. This tactic may help for a bit, but it will likely fall apart in the next budget cycle, with those positions swiftly eliminated.

    So, what to do?

  3. Josh

    My apologies for the “loaded question” :-) I guess I thought it more rhetorical being that it was posted in a comments space. I agree with you on the marketing terms tho. I much prefer “Iraq War” and “The Hunt for Osama”. “Weapons of Mass Destruction” is another term I loathe.

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