Lead by example
It is definitely a view I can agree with. The military (aka force) is a powerful tool in diplomacy; To be used as a threat of force and as the means of force.
It’s not just international do-goodism. To Obama, everything and everyone everywhere is of strategic concern to the United States. “We cannot hope to shape a world where opportunity outweighs danger unless we ensure that every child, everywhere, is taught to build and not to destroy.” The “security of the American people is inextricably linked to the security of all people.”</p> The world is ever transforming and I believe that the current administration is filled with people who are too slow to react to these changes, or who are mired in old world views.
I remember discussions I had with my classmates @ BYU about Clinton’s reductions of the military. At the time, it was the appropriate the thing to do. They disagreed. The state of the world supported it. It may support a larger military now.
The new worlds fight against terrorism supports different type of military.
…Obama wants to increase defense spending. He wants to add 65,000 troops to the Army and recruit 27,000 more Marines. Why? To fight terrorism. He wants the American military to “stay on the offense, from Djibouti to Kandahar,” and he believes that “the ability to put boots on the ground will be critical in eliminating the shadowy terrorist networks we now face.” He wants to ensure that we continue to have “the strongest, best-equipped military in the world.”
I really liked what the Marine Corps did in the 90s. They redesigned themselves. (Read “Making the Corps“) They worked on developing a smaller fighting force, that is trained to get in and get out. A true surgical strike force.
Obama never once says that military force should be used only as a last resort. Rather, he insists that “no president should ever hesitate to use force — unilaterally if necessary,” not only “to protect ourselves . . . when we are attacked,” but also to protect “our vital interests” when they are “imminently threatened.” That’s known as preemptive military action. It won’t reassure those around the world who worry about letting an American president decide what a “vital interest” is and when it is “imminently threatened.”</p> This goes to the point made earlier in the article, about leading by example. He has the view that the US should be the leader of the world. (I believe this contradicts Kucinich’s view of being equal to, but not above. To an extent he is right, we should work with others to help create solutions to and fix problems of the world. But Obama builds on this, that we should lead by example. For ex. environmental issues. So, China has a larger carbon footprint than we do, and are not doing much to reduce it. Does that mean we shouldn’t do our part?)
We have become an even more global society in the last 15 or so years. What is vital to the US is often vital to the world (stopping terrorism, reducing greenhouse emissions and dependency on oil, health care, education, etc.) We should lead the world in creating/finding solutions to these problems. We should not continue on in contributing to the problems by saying, “they are still doing it, so why shouldn’t we?”
I have become even less enamored with all of the Presidential candidates. We have reached “The Best Man” scenario and maybe worse. We are working from 2nd and 3rd tier contenders. Where are the true leaders, innovators, etc. that we need? Start trying to decide who will do the least amount of damage in the next four years. I am not sure who that will be. I am liking Obama from the D side. But who from the R side will annoy me the least? I am not sure.