Yikes! And double yikes! Will this "foreign aid to our enemies" money pit that should be more properly known as jizya ever stop?
When President-elect Barack Obama introduces his national security team on Monday, it will include two veteran cold warriors and a political rival whose records are all more hawkish than that of the new president who will face them in the White House Situation Room.
Yet all three of his choicesSenator Hillary Rodham Clinton as the rival turned secretary of state; Gen. James L. Jones, the former NATO commander, as national security adviser, and Robert M. Gates, the current and future defense secretaryhave embraced a sweeping shift of priorities and resources in the national security arena.
The shift would create a greatly expanded corps of diplomats and aid workers that, in the vision of the incoming Obama administration, would be engaged in projects around the world aimed at preventing conflicts and rebuilding failed states. However, it is unclear whether the financing would be shifted from the Pentagon; Mr. Obama has also committed to increasing the number of American combat troops.Whether they can make the changeone that Mr. Obama started talking about in the summer of 2007, when his candidacy was a long shot at best“will be the great foreign policy experiment of the Obama presidency,” one of his senior advisers said recently.
Denis McDonough, a senior Obama foreign policy adviser, cast the issue slightly differently in an interview on Sunday.
“This is not an experiment, but a pragmatic solution to a long-acknowledged problem,” he said. “During the campaign the then-senator invested a lot of time reaching out to retired military and also younger officers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan to draw on lessons learned. There wasn’t a meeting that didn’t include a discussion of the need to strengthen and integrate the other tools of national power to succeed against unconventional threats. It is critical to a long-term successful and sustainable national security strategy in the 21st century.” Mr. Obama’s advisers said they were already bracing themselves for the charge from the right that he is investing in social work, even though President Bush repeatedly promised such a shift, starting in a series of speeches in late 2005. But they also expect battles within the Democratic Party over questions like whether the billion dollars in aid to rebuild Afghanistan that Mr. Obama promised during the campaign should now be spent on job-creation projects at home.
Mr. Obama’s best political cover may come from Mr. Gates, the former Central Intelligence Agency director and veteran of the cold war, who just months ago said it was “hard to imagine any circumstance” in which he would stay in his post at the Pentagon. Now he will do exactly that.
A year ago, to studied silence from the Bush White House, Mr. Gates began giving a series of speeches about the limits of military power in wars in which no military victory is possible. He made popular the statistic, quoted by Mr. Obama, that the United States has more members of military marching bands than foreign service officers.
He also denounced “the gutting of America’s ability to engage, assist and communicate with other parts of the worldthe ‘soft power’ which had been so important throughout the cold war.” He blamed both the Clinton and Bush administrations and said later in an interview that “it is almost like we forgot everything we learned in Vietnam.”
Try as we might, there are those of us who flatly refuse to believe that this penchant of American leadership to try to buy friendship around the world is the proper motivation to quell the ire of our declared enemies. This is just more of the same tired Bush policy. More American treasure out the door, while our own nation's industrial sector is gutted and our long neglected infrastructure continues to rot. Obama intends to continue the policies which does nothing but sell America out to the highest bidder, dismantling this country piece by piece at a time when the US economy is already at a critical breaking point. This is NOT a good thing. Our own national security is at stake.
Of course this article does not list which so-called failed states has attracted Obama's attention. Weren't we all led to believe that rebuilding Iraq was a waste of good American treasure and human resources? The continued pig-headedness to send American resources to countries that will never bend to Western jurisprudence because these countries live and die by a so-called noble book that tells them to resist down to the last breath, is simply irresponsible. The cloaked paternalism of the Western mindset just can't seem to peer through it own veil of self-righteousness on the one-hand, or break its cultural addiction to Middle Eastern oil and our own high standard of living which binds us in supplication to our enemies, on the other.
This is a sad state of affairs which must be properly addressed. Might against might. Depending on state-level bribery when our treasury is empty will not ensure our victory, but spell our defeat.