Wednesday, June 11, 2003

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Let me preempt your queries with some useful links

The key government documents cited in my TNR Online essay are the September 2002 National Security Strategy and the December 2002 National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction.

[UPDATE: While I was technically correct in the TNR piece when I said that the word "pre-emption" never appeared in the National Strategy to Combat WMD, I was wrong in substance. On p. 3, the document states:

Because deterrence may not succeed, and because of the potentially devastating consequences of WMD use against our forces and civilian population, U.S. military forces and appropriate civilian agencies must have the capability to defend against WMD-armed adversaries, including in appropriate cases through preemptive measures. This requires capabilities to detect and destroy an adversary's WMD assets before these weapons are used.

Apologies for the error, and thanks to reader M.R. for e-mailing me the correction.]

Some newspapers and columnists have gotten into trouble by misquoting Bush officials, so let’s get those links out of the way. Go to this post from last week on Wolfowitz to get the gist of his comments comparing North Korea and Iraq. As for Rumsfeld, here's a link to his quote from November 2001, and here's a post of mine from late April that provides the second quote in the article. That post also discusses the Army's decision to shut down the Peacekeeping Institute.

The Pew Research Center's "Views of a Changing World 2003" is available here. The quote in the article is from page 3 of the overview.

The Niall Ferguson quote comes from his Wall Street Journal op-ed from last week. Dr. Shireen M. Mazari is the Director General of Pakistan's Institute of Strategic Studies ; her comments came from this essay.

Click here for a March 2003 Washington Monthly essay by Nicholas Confessore that discusses how U.S. military personnel are being stretched to their limit. Ironically, Confessore lowballs his estimate of how many U.S. tropps would be needed in Iraq. And, to be fair, Rumsfeld seems to be following some of Confessore's recommendations. Phillip Carter points out that even now, there are too few troops on the ground in Iraq.

For those of you curious to know what was in NSC-68, click here. For the import of this document for U.S. Grand Strategy, go read chapter four of Strategies of Containment by John Lewis Gaddis.

posted by Dan on 06.11.03 at 01:17 PM