I haven’t given much thought to the new Bush plan for reducing our troops in Europe and Asia — we’re overextended fighting his lil’ personal war in Iraq, so he’s got to do some kind of reshuffling.
But an op-ed in today’s Washington Post got me thinking… and worried.
The president proposes something that generations of U.S. diplomats and soldiers fought to prevent and that our adversaries sought unsuccessfully to achieve: radical reduction of U.S. political and military influence on the European and Asian continents. The Bush message, delivered at a campaign rally, also smells of political opportunism. Under pressure but unable to withdraw troops from Iraq, the president has instead reached for what his advisers hope is the next best thing politically — a pledge to bring the boys home from Europe and Asia.
Whether this is good or bad politics remains to be seen. But there is little doubt that it is bad strategy and bad diplomacy, for which the United States is likely to pay a heavy price.
… With transatlantic relations badly frayed, Russia turning away from democracy and the United States facing the challenge of projecting stability from the Balkans to the Black Sea, Washington should be putting forward a plan to repair the transatlantic alliance, not ruin it.
… U.S. diplomats will have their hands full over the next decade or two trying to win the war on terrorism and help manage these multiple strategic transitions — and will need every ounce of U.S. political and military leverage and muscle if they are to get it right. In an act of diplomatic hara-kiri, the president proposes to destroy one of the key pillars of U.S. influence just when this kind of leverage and influence is likely to be needed the most.
We all know that Bush himself has no real military experience or “strategeric” abilities. But who in the hell is advising him on these matters? What is their ultimate goal? Why are they pushing us into an isolationist, unilateral state?
On a possibly related note, does anyone know the story behind this “armageddon” thing that the fundamentalists are all looking forward to? Do you think that they’re trying to hasten it’s coming?