It’s The Opposite Of Bush’s Policies That Make Us More Successful Now Fighting Terror
George W. Bush promoted the amorphous “global war on terror” and was not focused enough to stay the course when there were opportunities to go after the actual terrorist who hit America on 9/11, and to get bin Laden. As Michael Hirsch writes at the National Journal, it was conceptualizing terrorism differently that led to bin Laden’s takedown.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, interviewed by MSNBC this week, even called the operation “a good story for continuity across two presidencies.”
That assessment couldn’t be further from the truth. Behind Obama’s takedown of the Qaida leader this week lies a profound discontinuity between administrations—a major strategic shift in how to deal with terrorists. From his first great public moment when, as a state senator, he called Iraq a “dumb war,” Obama indicated that he thought that George W. Bush had badly misconceived the challenge of 9/11. And very quickly upon taking office as president, Obama reoriented the war back to where, in the view of many experts, it always belonged. He discarded the idea of a “global war on terror” that conflated all terror threats from al-Qaida to Hamas to Hezbollah. Obama replaced it with a covert, laserlike focus on al-Qaida and its spawn.
Had we had proper focus, during the Bush administration, think how many lives could have been saved.
The lack of clarity in strategic conception led directly to the imbroglio in Afghanistan and Pakistan today. There is no longer any question that the diversion of U.S. troops and, in particular, intelligence assets and special forces to Iraq in 2002 and 2003 produced a Taliban and Qaida resurgence in South Asia.Click here for reuse options!
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