Recent threats from North Korea have led the Obama administration to reverse some of its previous decisions and to build up U.S. missile defenses. Welcome as that course correction is, the North’s recent missile developments and underground nuclear test should cause President Obama to rethink his basic approach to nuclear weapons policy. He should acknowledge that he was unrealistic in making it U.S. policy to achieve “a world without nuclear weapons.”
Whatever good and idealistic intentions may have motivated the initial rhetoric about “nuclear zero,” the practical effects of embracing this slogan are harmful. The goal of minimizing the possibility of nuclear war is not served when the U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
On March 5, in the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, forces believed to be affiliated with the Taliban bombed the shrine of Rahman Baba (born around 1650), the most revered Pashtun poet. The attack evokes one of the grosser Taliban outrages from the pre-9/11 era: the dynamiting in 2001 of the enormous stone Buddhas in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley.
This use of bombs as cultural commentary is especially notable in that the shrine was sacred to other Muslims. It reminds the world, and especially complacent Muslims, that the Islamist extremists’ war is a civil war within Islam — and not just a “holy war” against other religions and the United States.… Seguir leyendo »
Last fall, when Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testified before Congress, the Op-Ed editors asked military and diplomatic experts to suggest questions they would like to ask America’s two top men in Iraq. Now, with General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker to appear again before the Senate today and the House tomorrow, the editors asked three of last year’s contributors to reflect on the changes of the last seven months — and to suggest new questions they would pose were they members of Congress.
a) Legislation's Limits
By Douglas J. Feith, a former under secretary of defense for policy and the author of War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism.… Seguir leyendo »
Today and tomorrow, the United States ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, and the top American general there, David Petraeus, will appear before Congress to offer a progress report on the war. The Op-Ed page asked six experts on the Iraq conflict to come up with three questions they would pose to the two men.
Beyond the Surge
1. General Petraeus, has the surge bought us anything more enduring than fleeting tactical victories?
2. You and Adm. Michael Mullen, the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have both said the surge will end in April 2008. What options do we have then?… Seguir leyendo »
Promoters of the "Bush Lied, People Died" line claim that the recent Pentagon inspector general's report concerning my former office's work on Iraq intelligence supports their cause. What the IG actually said is a different story.
The IG, Thomas Gimble, focused on a single Pentagon briefing from 2002 -- a critique of the CIA's work on the Iraq-al-Qaeda relationship. His report concluded that the work my office generated was entirely lawful and authorized, and that Sen. Carl Levin was wrong to allege that we misled Congress.
Gimble made Levin happy, however, by calling the Pentagon briefing "inappropriate," a word the senator has whipped into a political lather.… Seguir leyendo »