Friday, March 14, 2003
FOR GEEKS AND UNIVERSITY OF
FOR GEEKS AND UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO UNDERGRADUATES ONLY: After I posted about the joys of crafting a globalization syllabus, I received a couple of e-mails asking for a peek.
Well, here's your chance. I've set up a separate blog for my globalization course -- Globalization and Its Discontents. The entire syllabus is there. U of C undergraduates that want to get a jump on buying books -- here's your chance!!
WARNING: Many of the article links will not work unless you are at a university account that has the requisite online subscriptions.
For another good blogger syllabus, check out Brad DeLong's Introduction to Economic History, which he's co-teaching with Barry Eichengreen. My only quibble with it is the omission of How The West Grew Rich from their reading list. Economists, however, always disdain books in favor of articles.
HOW BUSH DECIDES: David Brooks
"In certain circles, it is not only important what opinion you hold, but how you hold it. It is important to be seen dancing with complexity, sliding among shades of gray. Any poor rube can come to a simple conclusion--that President Saddam Hussein is a menace who must be disarmed--but the refined ratiocinators want to be seen luxuriating amid the difficulties, donning the jewels of nuance, even to the point of self-paralysis. And they want to see their leaders paying homage to this style. Accordingly, many Bush critics seem less disturbed by his position than by his inability to adhere to the rules of genteel intellectual manners. They want him to show a little anguish. They want baggy eyes, evidence of sleepless nights, a few photo-ops, Kennedy-style, of the president staring gloomily through the Oval Office windows into the distance.
And this prompts a question in their minds. Why does George Bush breach educated class etiquette so grievously? Why does he seem so certain, decisive and sure of himself, when everybody--tout le monde!--knows that anxiety and anguish are the proper poses to adopt in such times.
The U.S. press is filled with psychologizing. And two explanations have reemerged.
First, Bush is stupid. Intellectually incurious, he is unable to adapt to events.
Secondly, he is a religious nut. He sees the world as a simple battle of good versus evil. His faith cannot admit shades of gray.
The problem with the explanations is that they have nothing to do with reality."
Read the rest of the essay for Brooks' explanation.
I suspect there's something else going on, which is simple partisanship. Consider that the last President who identified an emerging threat to U.S. security and altered American foreign policy accordingly was famous for his decisiveness.
Curiously, however, neither history nor the Democrats have judged Harry S Truman to have been too decisive.
Talk about minimizing collateral damage
Michael Gordon, the New York Times chief military correspondent, has started writing a high-quality weekly column for nytimes.com called Dispatches. His latest essay analyzes the differences between how the military will prosecute Gulf War II as opposed to Gulf War I. The key grafs:
What's astonishing is the extent to which the military is implementing this strategy. Here's the final grafs:
I'm well aware of how triumphalist this sounds, but is there another military in the world that would care this much about minimizing the killing of enemy soldiers?
Thursday, March 13, 2003
Shameless media plug
UPDATE: I love doing radio shows. For some reason, I derive great satisfaction from sounding erudite on the radio only 10 minutes after I awake, snuggled under my blanket, wearing my pajamas.
DOES SOMEONE NEEDS A "TIME
DOES SOMEONE NEEDS A "TIME OUT"? OR MAYBE A FIELD TRIP?: OK, as war approaches, everyone's nerves are clearly getting frayed. However, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld seems especially ill-tempered. How else to explain his recent gaffes?
First he manages to alienate the British, only our most important ally in the looming conflict, with the suggestion that we don't really need them.
Then he publicly states that "secret surrender" negotiations are under way. According to CNN, Rumsfeld said this "to the dismay of the U.S. officials involved." This dismay would make sense, since, after all, surrendering before the war starts is a delicate tango.
Now, Rummy has the reputation of being a straight-shooter in public, so maybe he thinks these moments of candor are just part of his charm. However, I share Andrew Sullivan's suspicion that he's been acting up in private as well:
"By tonight, the tensions were spilling over into the administration itself, as the hawkish senior officials who had opposed going to the United Nations in the first place erupted in frustration that the process was becoming protracted.
One senior official referred to the frantic negotiations with an epithet and put the onus for the delays on Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, who had insisted on the new resolution to gain crucial political support at home.
'Blair is driving this, and we're trying to accommodate him,' the official said."
Somehow I doubt that "official" was Colin Powell.
Perhaps now would be a good time for our esteemed Defense Secretary to take a goodwill tour. First stop... Nauru!! [You do know that their President just died?--ed. All the more reason to send a high-ranking official.]
A few good links
Boy, you publish a short essay in TNR Online, have Andrew Sullivan, Glenn Reynolds, David Adesnik, Kevin Drum, Jacob Levy, Matthew Yglesias, and the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web link to it, and suddenly the world is beating down your e-mail door with lots of additional information, pro and con, on the odds for democratization in the Middle East.
Martin Kramer provides a passel of links that suggest skepticism on Middle Eastern democratization, all of them from last fall. Here is Kramer's address to the 2002 Weinberg Founders Conference; an abstract of Adam Garfinkle's October 2002 National Interest essay; and a Carnegie Endowment policy brief.
As for me, I think I'll take this advice for the rest of today.
ALL HAIL THE WELL-INTENTIONED POWERS!:
ALL HAIL THE WELL-INTENTIONED POWERS!: I'm sure leaders in Paris and Moscow must be beaming with pride at the Iraqi response to the proposed British compromise at the Security Council:
"Iraqi newspapers were gloating over the turmoil [at the UN].
'It is obvious that Bush and Blair have lost the round before it starts, while we, along with well-intentioned powers in the world, have won it,' the popular daily Babil, owned Saddam's son Odai, said in a front-page editorial. [emphasis added]
'Blair's future is at stake now, and his downfall will be a harsh lesson in Britain's political history,' it said."
If I were Tony Blair, I'd just repeat that last clause during question time at the House of Commons and dare anyone to speak in opposition.
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
ADVANTAGE: CALPUNDIT!!: Brad Delong responds
It's all interesting, but if you scroll through the comments section in DeLong's post, Kevin Drum asks the question that popped into my head as I was perusing the debate.
The costs of containment
I've had discussions with numerous anti-war faculty on campus here. They inevitably get uncomfortable when I mention that starting a war now would probably save more lives than continued containment.
I understand this discomfort. After all, war is the most violent option in world politics. Pacifists wish to put a normative taboo on military action, as a way of constraining states. The mere suggestion that a quick war is superior to a long siege (which is what the containment of Iraq would mean) cuts at the core assumption of pacifists.
Amen. [Er, doesn't Mead exaggerate the number of deaths in Iraq that can be attributed to sanctions?--ed. Yes -- see Matt Welch and Stephen Green for the details -- but even a conservative estimate supports his point].
(FULL DISCLOSURE: Charles is a departmental colleague of mine. He also has an excellent web site for those generally interested in international relations)
Iraq, Al Qaeda, and a modest proposal for the Security Council
This Washington Post story provides some excellent detail on the precise link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. The first few grafs:
Now, this piece makes two things clear. First, contrary to many skeptics' assertions, there is an Al Qaeda presence in Iraq. Second, it's also clear that Saddam Hussein has little to do with this presence. At worst, Hussein's policy on Al Qaeda might be characterized as benign neglect -- he's not helping them but he doesn't mind them being in parts of Iraq he can't control. There might be other reasons to support regime change in Iraq, but the Al Qaeda connection is a weak reed.
However, there's military action short of regime change. At a minimum, the Post story would seem to justify an offensive to knock out Ansar al-Islam and retake the Halabja Valley. This leads to an intriguing question. Given the obvious link between achieving this objective and the war on terror, and given the assertions by France and others that credible evidence of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda would justify use of force, would the Security Council be willing to approve U.S. military action in this area? [So you think this would be an acceptable substitute to a whole-scale invasion?--ed. No, I still support an invasion. But securing Security Council support for this phase of operations might be an good stop-gap proposal].
This would be an excellent test of where exactly the French and Germans stand. Is their opposition to Iraq based on a blind determination to counter U.S. power, or is there some nuance to their stance?
Three final thoughts on democratization in the Middle East
In descending order of importance:
1) If President Bush means what he says about a democratic Iraq, there is one other policy initiative worth considering – the creation/promotion of a regional club of emerging Middle Eastern democracies. One of the most powerful incentives for Eastern European countries to democratize was the tantalizing prospect of joining the democratic clubs of NATO and the European Union.
There's some compelling evidence that democratic clubs matter. Jon Pevehouse at the University of Wisconsin has statistically demonstrated that when fragile governments gain membership into democratic clubs, they are more likely to become stable democracies. Here's an abstract of one published paper; Jon makes a similar point in his contribution to my edited volume ( Amazon sales rank: 2,111,830 and climbing!!)
Of course, the rewards of membership would have to be significant. A preferential trade agreement with the United States might be an option, especially since the U.S. already has such deals with Israel and Jordan.
2) One point that I didn't address in the TNR essay but is worth acknowledging is that democratization may be taking place in the countries surrounding Iraq, but that's not the only thing that matters. These countries are still plagued by a fair amount of corruption. Even if Iraq becomes democratic, it's likely to have significant problems with corruption.
3) Reason #213 why I love the blog is that I can amend and augment material that I publish in other media.
WHAT TO KNOW MORE?: I
WHAT TO KNOW MORE?: I always feel slightly uncomfortable writing essays where I'm not allowed to use footnotes. My latest TNR essay is a case in point, since I cite a lot of people. So, for those who are curious, here's the references and background:
Edward Said's quote comes from this screed.
The book Samuel Huntington wrote before The Clash of Civilizations was entitled The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. The (brief) discussion of the second wave of democratization is on pp. 18-21.
The O'Donnell and Schmitter quotation comes from their 1986 book, Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions About Uncertain Democracies, p. 17-18.
The work by Jeffrey Kopstein and David Reilly on democratic transition in the post-communist space comes from their article, "Geographic Diffusion and the Transformation of the Postcommunist World," in the October 2000 issue of World Politics; here's the online abstract. Here's the draft version of the paper.
This Ian Urbina op-ed has a nice discussion of the democratization process taking place in the outlying parts of the Middle East.
"CHICAGO SCHOOL" -- WHY THE
"CHICAGO SCHOOL" -- WHY THE NEOCONS MAY BE RIGHT: My latest TNR Online essay is up. It's a discussion of why the neocons are not crazy when they talk about democracy sweeping over the Middle East after an invasion of Iraq. It's an extension and refinement of this post from last week.
Go check it out. If you want to know more, look at the above post.
SERBIAN LEADER ASSASINATED: The Guardian
SERBIAN LEADER ASSASINATED: The Guardian reports:
"Zoran Djindjic, the Serbian prime minister and one of the key leaders in the revolt that toppled Slobodan Milosevic, was today assassinated in Belgrade.
According to local media reports, Mr Djindjic was shot while entering the government building. Mr Djindjic sustained two shots in his stomach and back. He died while being treated in Belgrade's emergency hospital."
Two quick thoughts. First, Djindjic was, in many ways, Serbia's Yeltsin -- an imperfect but resolute reformer. Back to the Guardian:
"Only last month, Mr Djindjic survived an alleged assassination attempt when a lorry cut across his motorcade. He later dismissed the February 21 incident as a 'futile effort' that could not stop democratic reforms.
'If someone thinks the law and the reforms can be stopped by eliminating me, then that is a huge delusion,' Mr Djindjic was quoted as saying by the Politika newspaper at the time." I hope and believe he's correct.
Second, even though the events are entirely unrelated, there's something spooky about the assassination of a Balkan leader coinciding with the world being, say, 45 days from an international conflagration.
At least it's not July.
UPDATE: Matthew Yglesias points out why there isn't even a prima facie parallel between this assassination and the killing of Archduke Ferdinand, which is why I changed "Serbian" to "Balkan" in the second-to-last paragraph.
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
THE MEALIAN DIALOGUE: Inspired by
THE MEALIAN DIALOGUE: Inspired by the Melian Dialogue, Brad DeLong uses Thucydides' technique to describe an exchange on behavioral economics with Stanford economist Robert Hall (FULL DISCLOSURE: I took Hall's macroeconomics course).
The result is extremely amusing, like a random walk down University Avenue [You going to explain that last clause--ed? No, that's just for the economics geeks out there]
A SANE ANALYSIS OF TRANSATLANTIC
A SANE ANALYSIS OF TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS: Seth Green has an hopeful essay on the distinction between mainstream and extreme viewpoints in Europe. The highlights:
"I am convinced that anti-Americanism is not nearly as prevalent in Europe as media accounts suggest. Generally speaking, I have been overwhelmed by the friendship of my European peers -- from their outpouring of compassion when I came here just after the September 11 attacks to their concern for my safety now. It is true that a distinct, and unfortunately visible, minority do virulently hate us -- but they are the headline-hogging exception, not the rule. Indeed, the vast majority of Europeans continue to embrace American ideas, American culture and American people.
That is why I am troubled by the recent tendency to lump together all Europeans who oppose any facet of U.S. foreign policy under the one-size-fits-all banner of "anti-Americanism." No doubt there are extremists -- and drunkards -- here who deserve the label. Yet they are the very reason that we must use the term sparingly. When we see all Europeans -- from those who reasonably disagree with us to those who senselessly hate us -- as part of the same phenomenon, we blur the critical distinction between Europe's mainstream and its fringe.
Mainstream Europe shares American values. In the aftermath of September 11, Europeans overwhelmingly supported our common war on terrorism. Today, most Europeans still agree with our campaign to end terrorism and promote world security. Eighty-five percent of Brits, 67 percent of French and 82 percent of Germans believe that Saddam Hussein is a dangerous threat, and majorities in each of these countries support removing him. While many moderate Europeans are against war in Iraq under the current conditions -- primarily because they want more time for inspections -- they fundamentally share our principles.
By contrast, European extremists resent the United States and our beliefs. To extremists, every American icon -- from Starbucks to Britney Spears -- represents a form of American imperialism. And no matter what we achieve, whether in Kosovo or Afghanistan, they fault us. They call Americans bullies even as they seek to bully us. They call the United States a terrorist state even as they romanticize true terrorists."
Green glosses over the division on Iraq to suit his argument, but his point is worth remembering. Give it a read.
I WAS WRONG ABOUT FRANCE:
I WAS WRONG ABOUT FRANCE: Last month, I was among one of many in the Blogosphere who said that France would eventually capitulate to United Nations action against Iraq. Some bloggers still believe in this outcome.
Alas, I must admit that this story demonstrates that I was clearly wrong:
"In a dramatic break with the United States, President Jacques Chirac said tonight that France would veto a United Nations resolution threatening war against Iraq.
'My position is that whatever the circumstances, France will vote no,' Mr. Chirac said. He added that he had 'the feeling' that Russia and China, which also have veto power in the Security Council, are prepared to follow France's lead.
Speaking calmly and deliberately during a live television interview in Élysée Palace this evening, Mr. Chirac said he was convinced that the United Nations inspections process was working and that Iraq could be stripped of its dangerous weapons without war.
'The inspectors say that cooperation has improved and that they are in a position to pursue their work,' Mr. Chirac said. 'This is what is essential. It's not up to you or me to say if the inspections are working.'
He added, 'We refuse to follow a path that will lead automatically to war as long as the inspectors don't say to us, "We can't go any further."'"
1) France has now switched to the German position. That first highlighted passage makes it clear that there is simply no point to further deliberations at the Security Council. Saddam Hussein could be caught on tape sitting on a nuclear weapon, or threatening to shoot down U-2 overflights, and France would not change its mind.
This isn't a case of the French behaving as obstreperously as the Americans. For all of the bluster, the U.S. actually demonstrated a willingness to compromise at the Security Council, in the crafting of 1441 and more recently. France has now joined Germany in stating flat-out that it doesn't matter what Iraq does.
2) France is buckpassing on top of its buckpassing. It's not just that Chirac is buckpassing on enforcing Iraq's compliance with Security Council resolutions -- now he's buckpassing on interpreting the effectiveness of the enforcement process itself.
3) The French do want automaticity -- in the other direction. Just read the highlighted parts -- it's pretty clear that there is no circumstance under which France would decide to go to war.
UPDATE: TNR's &c offers a different interpretation.
...AND THEN THERE'S THE SENATE:
"President Bush called Afghan President Hamid Karzai last week to apologize for the way he was treated in a meeting with members of a Senate committee on Capitol Hill late last month, according to senior Afghan officials....
During the conversation, the Afghan officials said, Bush offered to make the apology public, but Karzai declined. 'Bush called to say he was really sorry about how things had gone in the Senate, and that Karzai should not have been treated like that,' said an official familiar with the call.
The problem arose when Karzai visited the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for what the committee had billed as a 'meeting.' Generally, heads of state meet with the committee in private, but Chairman Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) instead invited Karzai to a hearing room with reporters present.
Karzai was placed at a witness table looking up at the senators, the usual layout for people summoned to testify at a hearing. There were several skeptical and hostile questions that Karzai did not expect and had not prepared for, according to the Afghan officials."
To be fair, read the whole piece -- the Senate Foreign Relations Committee deserves some of the blame, but the Afghans clearly did some poor advance work.
IS THE HOUSE HAVING A
IS THE HOUSE HAVING A "STUPID BIGOT" CONTEST I DON'T KNOW ABOUT?: Eric Muller has been doing a great job blogging about the various idiocies coming from the mouths of North Carolina House Representatives such as Howard Coble or Sue Myrick. Now, via Muller's blog, comes another House Representative acting like a jackass. According to the Washington Post:
"Jewish organizations condemned Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) today for delivering what they said were anti-Semitic remarks at an anti-war forum in Reston, in which he suggested that American Jews are responsible for pushing the country to war with Iraq and that Jewish leaders could prevent war if they wanted.
At the Reston forum, attended by about 120 people at St. Anne's Episcopal Church last Monday, Moran discussed why he thought anti-war sentiment was not more effective in the United States.
'If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq we would not be doing this," Moran said, in comments first reported by the Reston Connection and confirmed by Moran. "The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going and I think they should.'"
The Reston Connection has the initial (and quite thorough) account of the town meeting in question. That article paraphrases Moran's observation that "Many of those Jewish leaders were swayed after talking with former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu."
Drezner's Assignment Desk: Mickey Kaus, is this anti-Semitism or not? I'm going to have to say "yes." Moran did not explicitly raise the "dual loyalties" issue. However, this doesn't get a pass for the simple reason that Moran is propagating the conspiracy myth that Jews always act in concert and are so powerful that they can direct U.S. foreign policy without regard for other Americans.
UPDATE: Kevin Dum has found another elected idiotarian, but at the state representative level.
Monday, March 10, 2003
CLINTON VS. DOLE: Stephen Green
CLINTON VS. DOLE: Stephen Green notes that the Dole/Clinton reviews are in and aren't good.
Here's the Chicago Tribune review. I think their expert commentator makes a lot of hard-hitting points, particularly with regard to Britney Spears.
UPDATE: Don Hewitt now admits that he blew it.
Could be worse... could be in France
As another weary pro-war blogger, I have some sympathy for Glenn Reynolds when he writes:
That said, there are many ways in which things could be worse:
2) We could be stuck in a desert waiting to implement those views.
3) We could be in Iraq, fretting about whether the U.S. will actually do what it says, or whether it will scale back its plans to please France and Russia.
4) We could be receiving almost daily rants from some airhead at Ichee@aol.com, who must be affiliated with this web site. Oh wait, I actually do have this problem, and it's certainly more irritating than what Glenn is complaining about.
There's another option, of course -- retire from blogging. We don't get paid for it. No one's making us do it. Of course, that would be.... inconceivable!!
UPDATE: Mickey Kaus provides a pick-me-up.
Sunday, March 9, 2003
WHEN WILL NORTH KOREA GO
WHEN WILL NORTH KOREA GO BIBLICAL?: After the past week of myriad North Korean provocations, that Onion story of a few weeks ago is looking more and more prescient. Their latest threat -- torching New York, DC, and Chicago:
"North Korea would launch a ballistic missile attack on the United States if Washington made a pre-emptive strike against the communist state's nuclear facility, the man described as Pyongyang's 'unofficial spokesman' claimed yesterday.
Kim Myong-chol, who has links to the Stalinist regime, told reporters in Tokyo that a US strike on the nuclear facility at Yongbyon 'means nuclear war'.
'If American forces carry out a pre-emptive strike on the Yongbyon facility, North Korea will immediately target, carry the war to the US mainland,' he said, adding that New York, Washington and Chicago would be 'aflame'."
This isn't really funny, but part of me is amused by the Pyongyang's apparent desperation to get the Bush administration's attention off of Iraq and onto the Korean peninsula.
A suggestion -- start thinking in Biblical terms. As his critics like to point out, this is a President who's very open about his faith. You want his attention, go Old Testament on him. Locusts, frogs, boils, famine -- now those are threats!! An ultimatum that every first-born male child in America will be dead in ten days will definitely generate some bilateral talks.
EXTRA!! EXTRA!! NEW YORK TIMES
EXTRA!! EXTRA!! NEW YORK TIMES SURRENDERS TO FRANCE!!: The New York Times editorial page has finally made up its mind:
"Within days, barring a diplomatic breakthrough, President Bush will decide whether to send American troops into Iraq in the face of United Nations opposition. We believe there is a better option involving long-running, stepped-up weapons inspections. But like everyone else in America, we feel the window closing. If it comes down to a question of yes or no to invasion without broad international support, our answer is no.
Even though Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector, said that Saddam Hussein was not in complete compliance with United Nations orders to disarm, the report of the inspectors on Friday was generally devastating to the American position. They not only argued that progress was being made, they also discounted the idea that Iraq was actively attempting to manufacture nuclear weapons. History shows that inspectors can be misled, and that Mr. Hussein can never be trusted to disarm and stay disarmed on his own accord. But a far larger and more aggressive inspection program, backed by a firm and united Security Council, could keep a permanent lid on Iraq's weapons program."
This is, essentially, the French position. For a refutation, click here.
ADVANTAGE: OXBLOG!!: I'm at the
ADVANTAGE: OXBLOG!!: I'm at the point now where if I see a Jimmy Carter New York Times op-ed, I know it will make everything else on the op-ed page loook erudite and well-reasoned. [Example?--ed. It took me a few hours to figure out the problem with Tom Friedman's piece today. He can't seem to reconcile the two sides of his brain. One half wants the U.S. to act humbly and within the tight strictures of international law and multilateralism. The other half wants the U.S. to be aggressively promoting democratic regime changes. Given the UN's makeup, there's no way to reconcile those aims.]
Josh Chafetz has a proper fisking of today's Carter nonsense.
The day might soon come when a blog should be set up only for Carter-fisking. As a public good for the rest of the blogosphere.
WE COULD HAVE... A BAD
WE COULD HAVE... A BAD MANNERS GAP!!: As perviously noted, the looming war with Iraq is prompting lots of diplomatic faux-pas. I've been on record saying that the U.S., in the form of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, have certainly contributed to the problem (in fairness, Rumsfeld has been pretty quiet as of late).
Of course, the Germans did start this was of bad words, back in September when the German Justice Minister compared Bush to Hitler. And now, after Rumsfeld insults Old Europe, Chirac insults Eastern Europe, and the Middle East insults each other, a high-ranking German official has closed the bad manners gap, according to Amiland:
"The German Under-Secretary of Defense has called President Bush a "dictator." Walter Kolbow (of Schröder's SPD) was quoted in a local newspaper (Die Kitzinger, not online) on Friday as saying:
'Economically and politically, Bush positions himself [in an] absolutely one-side [manner], without any respect for anyone else. That isn't a partner, that's a dictator.'"
Germans just hate to lose an arms race [Cheap shot--ed. Oh, it's the weekend, I'm permitted]
HOW IS THIS GULF WAR
HOW IS THIS GULF WAR DIFFERENT FROM OTHER WARS?: James C. Bennett has an interesting piece on the different types of wars fought by the Anglosphere:
"In each of the three major wars America engaged in since 1945 -- Korea, Vietnam, and Gulf War I -- three characteristics stand out in contrast to most of the nation's previous conflicts: regime change was not directly pursued as a war goal; there was no formal declaration of war, and the conflict ended with a combination of military victory for the U.S. and its allies, and political defeat, to various degrees. Regime change was achieved in none of those cases, even when it was sought indirectly in the case of Iraq....
Was the lack of a declaration of war in each of these three cases also a factor in the outcome? Given the Anglo-American military tradition as it has evolved over the centuries, there is a good case that it is so. Global maritime commercial powers, of which Britain and America are both exemplars, tend to fight two types of war. One is the small war, the "savage war of peace", fought by marines and long-term professionals, limited in scope, and usually undeclared.
The other is the major national mobilization against an all-out enemy, fought by reserves, volunteers and draftees raised for the occasion, and militia called into service. Such wars included the Napoleonic Wars and both World Wars. As Britain and America have always had mechanisms (gradually growing stronger) for obtaining public consent for such large mobilizations, the declaration of war was historically the occasion for fixing the major objectives, including in most circumstances regime change. Major war has always been a deal between the executive and the people: the people will bear the burdens, and the executive will strive diligently, under the scrutiny of the legislature, to achieve the stated goals. The declaration of war, and the debate preceding it, form the contract between executive and people....
On Thursday evening, George Bush made it clear that the United States will pursue regime change as a matter of national self-defense regardless of the outcome of United Nations processes. It would be appropriate to the Anglo-American constitutional traditions of war and peace, and serve to bind executive and nation to a compact to fight to win a meaningful and lasting victory, for both George Bush and Tony Blair to seek and obtain legislative support for a formal declaration of war against the Ba'athist regime of Iraq before launching the main assault."
Bennett's got an interesting point, but fails to consider how an all-volunteer force, combined with the revolution in military affairs, has altered the way the Anglosohere fights wars. A full-scale mobilization no longer necessary to fight a war of regime change -- unless Russia or China were to be the adversary. Bennett also obscures the fact that even though there was never a formal declaration of war in these cases, Congress did give its assent to the use of force. Still provocative reading, however.