October 27, 2008

IF THERE WERE A BETTER IDEA WE'D BE DOING IT:

The Robot Proxy War: Bush's man-hunting machines—and Obama's. (William Saletan, Oct. 27, 2008, Slate)

In less than three months, Barack Obama will be president of the United States. How will he change our border war in Pakistan? Not much. We'll keep fighting insurgents there the way we're fighting them today: with aerial killing machines.

Last year, Obama declared that under his presidency, "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will." John McCain criticized Obama's policy as rash, suggesting it would undermine the Pakistani government. The United States should try covert action in Pakistan "before we declare that we're going to bomb the daylights out of them," said McCain. A month ago, in their first debate, McCain again condemned Obama's position, arguing that the next president should "work with the Pakistani government," not "attack them."

Today, the New York Times reports what's actually going on along the Pakistani border. The report, based on interviews with U.S. and Pakistani officials, exposes the Obama-McCain debate as a charade. We're already getting actionable intelligence about terrorist targets in Pakistan. We're already blasting them. And the Pakistani government is working with us to facilitate these attacks. The covert action, the cooperation, and the aerial assaults aren't competing options. They're the same thing.


This is another one where Sarah Palin was right and Maverick wrong.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at October 27, 2008 9:15 AM
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