March 08, 2004

War on Terror Stamina

Steven Den Beste thinks that we are in danger of accelerating the development of a truly effective islamist movement if we take the cure halfway, much as foolish patients have endangered millions by creating drug resistant bugs by not following their doctors orders. If we halt the War on Terror before we actually win it, the Islamists will come back, stronger and more virulent than before.

I see the danger. He's right that such a halfway course of action is problematic at best. Unlike him, I also see a solution to hand and have been advocating its adoption for some time. You win the struggle to maintain a War on Terror that is likely to stretch generations by creating a consensus foreign policy position for both major parties, one that prosecutes the war in a way that is acceptable to a durable majority of both parties.

I am referring to Thomas Barnett and The Pentagon's New Map. In fact, beyond this effort, I can't find any practical effort to create a bipartisan durable intellectual framework that would survive changing party control of the Presidency and the Congress.

If Barnett's right, we have a workable map and an intellectual framework from which to work from that will survive the vagaries of the ballot box. If Barnett's recommendations are not capable of selling on both sides of the aisle, it is vitally important that something else be found to fill this policy niche. It's a matter of national survival.

A little birdie told me that advance copies of this book might just be circulating through the Kerry campaign. Certainly, this strategy seems to have heavily influenced Bush administration strategy. I'm going to be interested to see whether Barnett style reasoning starts permeating the Kerry candidacy.

Posted by TMLutas at March 8, 2004 12:59 PM