Geo-politics for beginners

Charles Krauthammer dissects Howard Dean’s continuing claim that we aren’t safer since the capture of Saddam. Dean relies on the fact that Americans are still dying in Iraq and that we are on high alert in this country. As to the first point, Krauthammer patiently explains that “in war, a strategic turning point makes you safer because it hastens victory, hastens the ultimate elimination of the hostile power, hastens the return home of the troops. It does not mean there is an immediate cessation, or even a diminution, of casualties (see: Battle of the Bulge).”
As to the second point, Krauthammer disputes Dean’s assumption that “we have a single enemy in the world, al Qaeda, and that it and it alone defines ‘safety.'” He points to positive developments in Libya and Iran as evidence that our actions in Iraq have, indeed, made the world a safer place. Looking at the totality of our actions in the Middle East and the subcontinent since 9/11, Krauthammer finds that “from Libya to India, ice is breaking and the region is changing. In this part of the world, there is no guarantee of success. But if this is not progress — remarkable, unexpected and hugely significant — then nothing is.”

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