May 5, 2011

THE WHITE SHADOW:

In bin Laden victory, echoes of the Bush years (Scott Wilson and Anne E. Kornblut, May 4, 2011, Washington Post)

As President Obama celebrates the signature national-security success of his tenure, he has a long list of people to thank. On the list: George W. Bush.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Bush waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that have forged a military so skilled that it carried out a complicated covert raid with only a minor complication. Public tolerance for military operations over the past decade has shifted to the degree that a mission carried out deep inside a sovereign country has raised little domestic protest.

And a detention and interrogation system that Obama once condemned as contrary to American values produced one early lead that, years later, brought U.S. forces to the high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and a fatal encounter with an unarmed Osama bin Laden.

But the bridge connecting the two administrations has also led Obama to the same contested legal terrain over how to fight against stateless enemies and whether values should be sacrificed in the pursuit of security.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at May 5, 2011 6:17 AM
  
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