Deterrence in the Age of Obama
Smart Power: an interlocking system of empty clichés.
9:09 AM, Aug 19, 2010 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
In a dangerous world, what is the best way to keep the peace? Deterrence is the name of the game. But what exactly is it?
Air Force General Curtis Lemay, who, among other things, presided over the U.S. strategic bombing campaign in the Pacific during World War II, once defined the concept succinctly:
Given Lemay’s past, however one judges it, his words carried weight around the world.
Admittedly, it’s just a snippet from a single speech by a mid-level appointee in the Obama administration – but it’s also representative of national security thinking that is not thinking at all.
The “vision thing” was President George H. W. Bush’s famous phrase for his own inability to formulate a coherent view of the world. Smart Power, an interlocking system of empty clichés, sounds far more sophisticated—but it is little better. It will certainly not make our adversaries tremble.
Recent Blog Posts