Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Question 8

Phil Elliott: How can we be a force for good in the world (in the context of the economic crisis and thus our inability perhaps to do it)?

JM: We are a force for good. Need to know when the expenditure of military power is worth it. Need judgment - Lebanon in 1983, etc. BO doesn't understand national security issues; we can't afford OTJ.

BO: JM says I don't understand. He's right (#3!), I don't understand. I don't understand why we invaded Iraq. It's been costly for us. We have spent close to $700B and will go over a trillion dollars in Iraq. $10B a month in Iraq we need here. JM and I do agree (#4!) that we are a force for good in the world. Strains placed on our alliances. Economic decline will limit our military strength.

TB: What is the doctrine for using force when we don't have national interest at stake.

BO: Moral component. Holocaust, Rwanda, ethnic cleansing - we stand idly by, that diminishes us. Intervene where possible. Lot of cruelty around the world. Need to work in concert with our allies. Darfur - we could provide logistical support, no-fly zone, only if can mobilize allies.

JM: If we do what BO wants to do in Iraq, we would be looking at disaster in Iraq and a wider war. BO would bring our troops home in defeat, I will bring them home in victory. Temper our desire to do good with the reality of the situation. Somalia, Lebanon, examples of overextending. Need to beneficially affect the situation or don't waste our blood. I know these situations, I have been in them my whole life, I won't take these decisions lightly. Don't make the situation worse.

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