Laser-Like Focus, Part III

Day before yesterday, reader Daniel Aronstein pointed out an article by Clinton’s National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, in the Nov./Dec. issue of Foreign Affairs. As we quoted Daniel:

[The article] thoroughly reviews so-called Clinton Administration successes (like North Korea!) and outlines what Clinton’s National Security Advisor – on behalf of the Clinton Administration – saw as the emerging chief global security issues.
The title of the article was, appropriately, “A Foreign Policy for the Global Age”.
In this article, Berger mentions terrorism ONCE, in passing – in a single paragraph, three pages from the end. Islamo-terrorism gets equal billing with all others on every continent, and he did not specifically mention either al Qaeda or UBL.

Daniel has now written to add that, while failing to mention al Qaeda, Berger did talk about Iraq:

Berger specifically wrote that the USA should “intensify both our planning for a post Saddam Iraq, and our efforts to speed its arrival.”

Daniel wonders how Richard Clarke can blame the Bush administration for doing “exactly what Berger and the Clinton administration recommended vis a vis Iraq.”
Well, to be fair to the Clinton administration, I think it’s clear that they only intended to talk about liberating Iraq, and wouldn’t have dreamed of actually doing it. Still, when Berger, in the last days of the Clinton administration, writes what poses as a definitive paper on “A Foreign Policy for the Global Age,” and talks about Iraq but not al Qaeda, it does make one wonder where, exactly, Clarke saw evidence of the Clintonites’ focus on bin Laden.


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