A month ago, Ralph Peters made it very clear what he thinks about the “right war.”
Afghanistan is history’s black hole. But President Obama has made Afghanistan his baby to show that he’s strong on security. What’s the end-state, Mr. President? How do we get there? How do you solve the greater Pakistan problem?
By sending another 30,000 US hostages in uniform? Define the mission — what, specifically, are they supposed to accomplish? God knows, every decent American should want this ragamuffin surge to succeed — but it’s the military equivalent of the financial bailout package: Just throw more resources at a problem and hope something works.
Personally, I’m sick of seeing our troops used as a substitute for intelligent policies — while every wonk in Washington drones on about there being no military solution to war, for God’s sake. No military solution? Great. Bring the troops home and deploy more diplomats, contractors and accountants. See how long they survive.
The Founding Fathers must be doing back flips in their graves.
In the National Review Online this morning, Andrew McCarthy writes, “The Obama Justice Department is dancing around the words ‘enemy combatants.'”
Say this much about Messrs. Cheney, Addington, and Yoo: Whether you agree with their muscular take on executive power (I happen to agree with it), it was at least a cogent view, no matter how frightening it may have seemed to international-law professors. They were saying that the Constitution gives the president power to protect the nation from external threats to national security, and that the courts have no power to second-guess the president in this realm.
By contrast, Obama says he doesn’t need Article II; he can live within the AUMF and international law, which, he says, limit him to detaining only those who have provided substantial support to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces. Fine, but what does “substantial” mean, and who are these “associated forces”? Obama won’t tell you. Those definitions may vary from “case to case,” says the guidance, such that “the contours of ‘substantial support’ and ‘associated forces’ bases of detention will need to be further developed in their application to concrete facts in individual cases.”