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Is the current Obama regime reassessment of Afghanistan strategy driven primarily by strategic/military factors or by economic/financial ones?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 10:48:04 AM EST
You've left out the key concern of all US (or just all?) foreign policy: domestic political calculations. You're committing the rational actor error.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 10:49:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
somewhat 'tongue in cheek'. That's certainly a major factor among the politicians, but for Pentagon and related bureaucrats it's largely summed up in Bruce's diary: the survival and profits of the M-I Complex - plus projections of power.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 11:29:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, but domestic political calculations are rational, too. It is not the same rationality, though.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 11:33:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you implying that strategic/military or  economic/financial factors are necessarily rational?  What strikes me as remarkable is how little the domestic political unpopularity of the war seems to matter at the moment - that is until the MI or financial establishments decide it should matter...

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 12:08:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... political theatre and strategic/military factors. There will be a political cost of drawing down forces, but it could easily be less than the risk of a widely trumpeted surge that is then later portrayed as a failure.

If some health care system modifications are made that do some marginal good, and a ghost of a cap and auction system is put into place and the sky does not fall in as a result (since the cap and auction has already been effectively neutered, there is nothing there to cause a problem, even under the counter-factual that a genuine cap and auction would) ...

... I wouldn't be surprised if they'd be happy to draw down after that and gamble on a combination of the economy starting to get better in the summer of '10 and conning the Democratic base that they had won legislative victories worthy of the fuss to prevent a Republican victory in the mid-terms.

There was a deliberate choice in the writing of the tale above that even that soon after the collapse of the Base Network Empire, the commentator talks as if Congress was once again the senior branch of government. Not likely, no, but a utopian tale does not need to be a prediction of what is most likely to happen.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 01:24:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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