Monday, August 06, 2007
Obama revealed his inexperience in a recent foreign policy speech. In recent days, he has called for U.S. military action in Pakistan to "root out terrorists". In a round-about way, he called for an invasion of Pakistan.... one of the largest, most populous countries in the Muslim World. Pakistan also has one of the largest armed forces in the region.
I was shocked to hear that Obama wanted to pull U.S. troops from Iraq so that they could be sent to Pakistan.
With his comments, Obama showed his lack of understanding of the region, his lack of understanding of the political situation in Pakistan, and his lack of knowledge about our military capabilities. His policy would be no different from the current policy... using military power as a primary tool to fight terrorism. It is a dead concept that will never work to root out terrorism. In fact, the military approach has only increased terrorism. Attacking Pakistan would only add to the problem. It would be a huge gift for Terrorist recruiters.
One minute he says that we should talk to our worst enemies, and the next minute he says that we should send large numbers of troops into countries without permission from their leaders. In his breakneck attempt to look like the Best Republican pro-war Democrat, he has suffered the first major stumble of the campaign.
It is clear that he is being coached on Foreign policy by the "traditional establishment advisors", despite the fact that he holds a college degree in international affairs. If he wants to recover (and if it is even still possible), he will have to rely a lot less on his advisors and on his attempts to look like a tough pro-war candidate, and he must rely a lot more on his common sense.
When there are no Puppeteers pulling his strings, and he is allowed to speak from his own heart and brain, the man can be brilliant. But when he is being directed, as he was for this foreign policy speech, he seems to stumble.
Now I do agree that the U.S. MUST get tougher on Pakistan... and must get more aggressive in the region. But there are more ways to do that than through overt military action. I would support special forces operations into Pakistan (along the border) acting on good intelligence. I would support massive CIA operations in Pakistan. I would also offer help to the Pakistani's in the form of technology.
This would be much more effective than Obama's maniacal solution. I would also invest more in improving the U.S. image in the region, and dealing with some of the underlying cultural, political and social/economic conditions that allow extremism and terrorism to thrive. We are fighting a war of ideals....this is not a military to military war where Tanks, Ships, and massive amounts of troops, bombs and artillery will be the deciding factor or even helpful in solving the problem.
But this is not what Obama proposed. He proposed invading a massive Muslim nation in order to root out terrorism, and he was seemingly unable to recognize that such an approach would have the opposite impact. Furthermore, such a move would cause Pakistan to implode politically, militarily, socially, religiously, etc. Pervez Musharraf would almost certainly be overthrown and an even more radical leadership could emerge. Why? Because Obama's invasion plan would radicalize the country, taking it to an even more extreme anti-American position. And not only would there be a radicalized leadership, but there would be a radicalized leadership with access to nuclear weapons. Obama's approach would make the Bush Policy look like a Sesame Street episode by comparison.
And he wants to invade this massive nation? With what military? He would have to end the occupation of Iraq before committing large numbers of troops elsewhere for yet another war. The U.S. can't deal with Iraq, and it is roughly 1/3 of the size of Pakistan. Either he plans a draft or he is planning to set up the biggest U.S. military defeat in history.
This Harvard Grad has to be smarter than this underneath all of the posturing.