The United States is winding down on another ill conceived War. Vietnam taught some lessons about getting into an open ended war with no clear definition of success. The first Gulf War seemed to alleviate any lingering concerns Vietnam might have created. Superior technology, overwhelming force, and arrogant diplomacy replaced professional statesmanship. John McCain is the epitome of this new foreign policy doctrine.
This writer is studying the works of Andrew J. Bacevich, PhD and retired U. S. Army Colonel – now a Professor of History and International Relations at Boston College. Dr. Bacevich is a graduate of West Point and Vietnam veteran. His doctorate in history is from Princeton. The translation of Dr. Bacevich in today’s politics is our own. Today we are reading “The New American Militarism.”
John McCain has proved his shallow understanding of complex issues – witness his deregulation that resulted in the melt down of Wall Street. McCain is using that same depth in promoting his ideas on foreign policy. McCain’s simplicity, coupled with his personality, lead to a foreign policy based on Coercive Diplomacy.
Promoting Coercive Diplomacy was evident in his position when Russian invaded Georgia. This was reinforced by the well coached Governor Sarah Palin in her interview with Charlie Gibson of ABC. Palin was straight out – Georgia should be in NATO and any attack on any NATO country should be met with force by the United States. When asked to calrify Palin reiterated, with a smile, the possiblity of War with Russia.
We don’t get Palin – other than seeing her through a McCain Camp filter. But we do get McCain. He has three fundamental premises to support his foreign policy doctrine:
- Professional soldiers understand War as civilians can not.
- Professional soldiers possess a unique set of skills enabling them to win wars quickly and decisively.
- McCain thinks he is a professional soldier.
McCain sees himself as a professional soldier – the best equipped to be Commander in Chief. McCain believes the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is a function of the military. We agree that military support may certainly be necessary. But Osama Bin Laden is a criminal, not an enemy combatant. To be sure, Bin Laden is organized and well funded – but that just makes him another Mafioso – an organized criminal. Organized crime is best fought with organized law enforcement.
This philosophy does not work for John McCain or George Bush or Dick Cheney. Organized international law enforcement requires that the United States cooperate with other countries. The business of the United States has been private and personal – unilateral. Osama Bin Laden remains free.
Aside from organized crime, the war in Kosovo should have taught the McCain’s and Bush’s of the world something about the difficulty of shooting wars. Wars that actually engage shooting, wars that happen when coersion does not work, are never as clean and pretty as McCain would have us believe.
Listen closely to McCain. He is not at all the Presidential Commander in Chief the Founding Fathers envisioned. He is the blow hard, second rate, sub standard military officer hell bent on proving his military acumen. McCain is salivating, he can taste the power of ruling over the military.
McCain’s campaign for President shows the depth he is willing to sink to be right, to win. McCain is willing to compromise any sense of morality if in doing so he benefits himself.
McCain itches for his first fight as Commander in Chief – a fight where he can finally prove himself. It is not stretch of the imagination to see John McCain strutting around with a big stick, daring any country to defy him. The rest of the world is watching this election, holding their breath. They hope the American people will not give the big stick to the unstable McCain.