WHY CHOOSE, WHEN YOU CAN GAMBLE?

Ross Douhat discusses post-Surge/post-Election Iraq strategy and seems to posit that, even though a McCain presidency would have more full-throated imperialists in positions of influence, his administration represents a more modest direction in foreign policy because ... he'd reduce troops a little bit over time (a doubtful claim since his website says that the preconditions for any troop withdrawal are a functioning Iraqi government that can protect it's people, something not likely to emerge soon), while Obama would take them out quickly.

Ross thinks that McCain's hawkish tendencies -- both in Iraq and, presumably, all the other places where he'd like to start a war -- will be constrained by facts on the ground, leaving long-term strategy to be dealt with by a future administration. In Ross' mind, a vote for McCain is a vote for putting off deciding the "long-term question of the size and scope of America’s entanglement in the Middle East" some four to eight years.

But that's not responsible! This is a question that needs to be debated and resolved now so that in four to eight years we don't have soldiers dying without a strategy to justify the loss.

--Tim Fernholz

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