Open Afghanistan/West Point speech thread
Comment away on Obama’s Afghanistan speech here. My quick hits: Well, everyone who’s been waiting for Obama to do something unpopular to demonstrate his leadership skills should shut up for a while; My favorite bit was the Eisenhower quote: "As President, I refuse to set goals that go beyond our responsibility, our means, or our ...
Comment away on Obama's Afghanistan speech here. My quick hits:
Comment away on Obama’s Afghanistan speech here. My quick hits:
- Well, everyone who’s been waiting for Obama to do something unpopular to demonstrate his leadership skills should shut up for a while;
- My favorite bit was the Eisenhower quote: "As President, I refuse to set goals that go beyond our responsibility, our means, or our interests. And I must weigh all of the challenges that our nation faces. I don’t have the luxury of committing to just one. Indeed, I’m mindful of the words of President Eisenhower, who — in discussing our national security — said, ‘Each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs.’"
- To that end, my reaction to the proposed policy is very similar to my reaction to Bill Belichick’s much-discussed fourth down play a few years back. At the end of that post, I wrote:
[I]t’s possible to defend Belichick’s call on fourth down as the rational, utility-maximizing decision, but conclude that he committed a series of small blunders that got the Patriots to the point where they had to convert a high-risk, high-reward play. In other words, sometimes the criticized decision might be the right one to make, but the decisions that structured the controversial choice might not have been.
… Looking at the Obama administration’s foreign policy, which move echoes Belichick’s play-calling?
I think I have my answer now.
This is a 51-49 decision, and I’m far from confident that he’s doing the right thing. If that Eisenhower quote is any indication, however, I’m pretty sure that the decision-making process was solid.
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner
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