Monday, January 20, 2014

Great quotes - dual govt?

"... Les Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations and an Assistant Secretary of State in the Carter Administration, later explained his initial support of the Iraq War as  “symptomatic of unfortunate tendencies within the foreign policy community, namely the disposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility.” One must always retain credibility, which counsels against fighting losing battles at high credibility costs, particularly for a policy option that would play in Peoria as a weak one.  Whether the policy is in reality the most effective is beside the point. It is the appearance that matters, and in appearance, the policy must seem hard-hitting. That reality permeates national security policy-making..."

- Michael J Glennon, Professor of International Law, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, in National Security and Double Government (114-page PDF. In this article he seeks to explain the continuity (for the most part) in national security policy despite a change of Presidents (from Bush to Obama). 

One possible answer to the plaintive laments I often see, in which bloggers and others ask how the folks that were so wildly wrong on any number of issues still have their utterances treated as serious, while those of the people who counseled against the direction taken on those issues (and who were ultimately proved to be right!) are not...

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