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Bush's Lack of Strategy in the "Strategy for Victory"

In advance of President George W. Bush’s speech to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis on November 30 the White House released a 35-page brochure called “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq” (NSVI). Like the Holy Roman Empire of yore, this document’s title has three misnomers in three words: it is not “national,” it is not a “strategy,” and it promises no meaningful “victory.”

The last time America achieved the degree of domestic consensus on a foreign issue that justified the notion of a “national strategy” was during World War II. Whether the attack on Pearl Harbor was hoped for by FDR (or even known to him in advance) is perhaps debatable. But that attack, and Hitler’s ultimate folly of declaring war on the United States on December 10, 1941, enabled Roosevelt to create an overwhelming national consensus for the war—including the notion that defeating Germany would have a priority in the overall strategic design.

The wisdom and honesty of political reasoning behind America’s strategy in 1941-1945 or 1917-1918 could be doubted, but not the existence of the strategy itself. In Iraq, by contrast, Mr. Bush and his team continue to confuse operational effectiveness with strategy. ~Srdja Trifkovic

As always, Dr. Trifkovic's article is well worth reading, and it is a better critique than my lengthy piece that tended more towards ridicule.

Daniel Larison | December 03, 2005


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