Tuesday, June 08, 2004
[T]he balance between unilateral American action and reliance upon allies -- whether of the French, Pakistani, Saudi or Iraqi kind -- needs to be calibrated according to some metric. That can only happen if a series of clear strategic goals in the Global War on Terror is nationally articulated an accepted.
Offering up the objective of more United Nations legitimacy or adopting an "exit strategy" in Iraq, as the Democrats have done, does not amount to a strategy. But neither does the open-ended formula of bringing freedom to the Middle East constitute an actionable agenda. It may be a guide to action, but what is needed is a set of intermediate goalposts against which progress can be measured. Some of these might be:
*The desired end state in Saudi Arabia: whether or not this includes the survival of the House of Saud or its total overthrow;
*The fate of the regime in Damascus;
*Whether or not the United States is committed to overthrowing the Mullahs in Iran and the question of what is to replace them;
*How far America will tolerate inaction by Iraq security forces before acting unilaterally;
*The future of the America's alliance with France and Germany;
*The American commitment to the United Nations.
Each of these hard questions must be weighed according to its contribution to the final goal of breaking the back of international terrorism. Somewhere in that maze, if it exists, is a ladder to victory.
Read the whole thing.