Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Obama's Strategic Vision: With no military experience, looking to be a smarter commander than McCain

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:51 AM
Original message
Obama's Strategic Vision: With no military experience, looking to be a smarter commander than McCain
WP: Obama's Strategic Vision
By Harold Meyerson
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Maybe the symbolism of Barack Obama giving a major speech this week at Berlin's Victory Column -- a 19th-century monument to Prussia's military triumphs -- isn't as incongruous at it might seem. After all, it was Frederick the Great -- the 18th-century Prussian monarch who transformed his kingdom into the dominant German state -- who once advised his generals, "He who would defend everything ends up defending nothing."

You can't deploy everywhere in strength, Frederick was saying, and that's a lesson Obama seems to understand a lot better than John McCain does. At a news conference in Jordan yesterday, Obama reiterated his belief that Afghanistan, not Iraq, is "the central front in the war against terrorism" and that confronting that reality requires drawing down the number of U.S. forces stationed in Iraq....

***

(W)hat of McCain's assertion that Obama "has no military experience whatsoever"? It's incontestably true, of course. What's more germane, and clearer with each passing day, however, is that Obama's capacities as a national strategist -- the most important qualification for a commander in chief -- far outshine McCain's. Victory, in McCain's view, is the result of will and fortitude -- an understandable belief for anyone who survived half a decade as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Had we been more steadfast in Vietnam, he believes, we could have won. Likewise in Iraq, even though the rifts in that nation are not ultimately susceptible to foreign military might.

But fortitude and will are only part of the formula for success. A good president has to know which battles to fight militarily and which diplomatically, which battles are primary and which secondary. By these measures, Obama -- who always viewed the Iraq fight as a distraction from hunting down al-Qaeda and who understands that peace in Iraq depends on a political accommodation among Iraqi groups -- is clearly the better strategist.

Military experience isn't an infallible guide to who might make the better commander. Jefferson Davis, after all, graduated from West Point, served with distinction (and with the rank of colonel) in the Mexican War and was secretary of war in the Franklin Pierce administration. Abraham Lincoln served roughly three months in a volunteer militia during the Black Hawk War and never saw action, and he was a vocal congressional opponent of the Mexican War. But Davis had no aptitude for national strategy during the Civil War, while Lincoln emerged as the North's master strategist. That's not to say that Obama is a budding Lincoln and McCain a second Jeff Davis. But by the Frederick the Great standard, Obama already looks to be the smarter commander.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. Big fat rec.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Stuart G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
2.  You gotta be able to think clearly to understand military strategy..
Obama can think clearly.
Mc Insain...well sometimes I am not sure if he can reason at all...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
speedoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
3. K&R. Thanks for posting this. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
4. Amazing how "Military experience" is soooo important now
Sure wasn't the last 2 elections....


to MSM: It's the brains, stupid!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
5. Finally, somebody clearly states what has been obvious to many of us for a long time.
The yapping heads who go on and on about McCain's foreign policy "expertise" need to read this column.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Rocky2007 Donating Member (156 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
6. Hands down me thinks~~~
Very well stated -- thanks.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Apr 23rd 2014, 04:46 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC