Sunday, June 19, 2005

A Father's Day Must-Read: Robert Kagan on The Consequences of NOT Going to War

One of the overriding themes of this blog, though I never intended it when I started it, has turned out to be an attempt to bring some perspective to events. It's rather unfortunate that the level of invective in many blogs is constantly striving to reach record heights. In that spirit, I attempted an analysis of recent events in Iraq yesterday, but of course I am an amateur, and it's quite refreshing when a pro comes along and does it right.

I'm speaking of Robert Kagan, and his simply masterful piece in the Washington Post entitled Whether This War Was Worth It. Kagan points out that there is never a 'clear-cut' justification for most any war, and even the universally acknowledged 'successes' such as World War II have tremendous downsides. For that reason, we must consider the cost of not going to war in making our assessment. Or as Kagan puts it:
That is a question to which we will never have a definitive answer, and yet it is critical to any judgment about the merits of the war. The most sensible argument for the invasion was not that Hussein was about to strike the United States or anyone else with a nuclear bomb. It was that containment could not be preserved indefinitely, that Hussein was repeatedly defying the international community and that his defiance appeared to both the Clinton and Bush administrations to be gradually succeeding.
Highly recommended...

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