Running Out of Fingers

Richard Haass on his policy differences within the Bush administration:

I argued for a new Iran policy and lost. I argued for a diplomaticapproach to North Korea and lost. I argued for a serious approach tothe Palestinian issue and lost. I wanted to deal with Syria, and I loston that. I also didn’t understand the allergy to internationalinstitutions. At some point, you run out of fingers to add up yourdisagreements.

From an interview on wars of necessity vs. wars of choice over at Real Clear World.

Interestingly, Haass obliquely underlines the disconnect between strategic objectives and resources that has plagued the Afghanistan War since the beginning, a disconnect that has oddly switched poles under the Obama administration:

What the [Bush administration] then went on to do was sort of odd. Itarticulated extraordinarily ambitious goals in Afghanistan, and theword “democracy” was frequently raised. Yet they didn’t provide theproper resources. There was a tremendous gap between the rhetoric andthe resourcing.

. . . What you’re seeing from [Obama] is an interestingreaction: a reduction in objectives. You no longer hear the word “democracy.” . . . You also hear more aboutincreasing resources; 17,000 more combat troops, 4,000 more trainers,and so forth.

I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone point that out before.

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