In the Arena

Left Behind

  • Share
  • Read Later

I’m afraid I’m going to get cranky about this: The Democrats who oppose the so-called “surge” are right. But they have to be careful not to sound like ill-informed dilettantes when talking about it.
The latest to make a fool of himself is Paul Krugman of the New York Times, who argues that those who favor the increase in troops are either cynical or delusional. Mostly the latter. Delusional neocons like Bill Kristol and Fred Kagan, to be precise. But what about retired General Jack Keane–whom Krugman doesn’t mention–and the significant number of military intellectuals who have favored a labor-intensive counterinsurgency strategy in Baghdad for the past three years? They are serious people. They may be wrong about Iraq now, reflexively trying to complete a mission that has been lost, but they are not delusional. The counterinsurgency doctrine they published in 2006 is exactly what the U.S. military should be doing in places like Afghanistan. And they, not Kagan and Kristol, are the motivating force behind Bush’s new policy. As for K & K, Krugman’s right: they’ve been wrong about Iraq. But at least they’ve taken the trouble to read the doctrine and talk to key players like Keane and General David Petraeus. Liberals won’t ever be trusted on national security until they start doing their homework. –Joe Klein

0 comments