The long war and the Cold War

The White House has posted the commencement address given by President Bush at West Point yesterday. The speech likens the current global war against Islamism to the Cold War and the efforts of the Bush administration to those of the Truman administration. I am not aware of his having elaborated the elements of his national security policy to that of the Truman administration in such detail. He specifically refers, for example, to NSC-68, the critical 1950 report that formulated the doctrine of containment.

Elisabeth Bumiller’s New York Times story on the speech includes an interesting variation on the usual allusion to President Bush’s low standing in the polls. Referring to Bush’s discussion of President Truman, Bumiller states: “He left it unsaid that Truman was deeply unpopular at the end of his two terms in office and that it took a generation to appreciate his achievements.”

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