Wednesday, July 23, 2008


From today's Washington Post:

Mr. Obama's account of his strategic vision remains eccentric. He insists that Afghanistan is "the central front" for the United States, along with the border areas of Pakistan. But there are no known al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, and any additional U.S. forces sent there would not be able to operate in the Pakistani territories where Osama bin Laden is headquartered. While the United States has an interest in preventing the resurgence of the Afghan Taliban, the country's strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq, which lies at the geopolitical center of the Middle East and contains some of the world's largest oil reserves.

What's going on here? Obama's stances are based on electoral politicas and are delimited by the moral stances of the left regarding the initial justice of the two respective wars. The left is generally uninterested in a geopoltical analysis of the current security needs of Afghanistan or Iraq. The justice, or injustice of the inception of each war is enough to guide the general strategic thinking from certain quarters.

I respect the moral judgments of many who proclaim the legitimacy of the Afghanistan war over the Iraq wars. There are many sounds reasons uppon which to base such an argument. Such judgments do not an indefinite policy make. I am reminded of a favorite Max Weber quotation that states, regarding political action, "it is not true that good can follow only from good and evil only from evil, but that often the opposite is true. Anyone who fails to see this is, indeed, a political infant."