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George W. Bush -- grand strategist
| Tony Blankley
Posted on 02/10/2004 9:28:46 PM PST by kattracks
The Boston Globe -- the respected, liberal newspaper owned by the New York Times -- ran an article last week that Bush critics might wish to read carefully. It is a report on a new book that argues that President Bush has developed and is ably implementing only the third American grand strategy in our history.
The author of this book, "Surprise, Security, and the American Experience" (Harvard Press), which is to be released in March, is John Lewis Gaddis, the Robert A. Lovett professor of military and naval history at Yale University. The Boston Globe describes Professor Gaddis as "the dean of Cold War studies and one of the nation's most eminent diplomatic historians." In other words, this is not some put up job by an obscure right-wing author. This comes from the pinnacle of the liberal Ivy League academic establishment.
If you hate George W. Bush, you will hate this Boston Globe story, because it makes a strong case that George Bush stands in a select category with Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and James Monroe (as guided by his secretary of state, John Q. Adams) in implementing one of the only three grand strategies of American foreign policy in our two-century history.
As the Globe article describes, in reporting on the book and an interview with Professor Gaddis, "Grand strategy is the blueprint from which policy follows. It envisions a country's mission, defines its interests and sets its priorities. Part of grand strategy's grandeur lies in its durability: A single grand strategy can shape decades, even centuries of policy."
According to this analysis, the first grand strategy by Monroe/Adams followed the British invasion of Washington and the burning of the White House in 1814. They responded to that threat by developing a policy of gaining future security through territorial expansion -- filling power vacuums with American pioneers before hostile powers could get in. That strategy lasted throughout the 19th and the early 20th centuries, and accounts for our continental size and historic security.
FDR's plans for the post WWII period was the second grand strategy, and gained American security by establishing free markets and self determination in Europe as a safeguard against future European wars, while creating the United Nations and related agencies to help us manage the rest of the world and contain the Soviets. The end of the Cold War changed that and led, according to Professor Gaddis, to President Clinton's assumption that a new grand strategy was not needed because globalization and democratization were inevitable. "Clinton said as much at one point. I think that was shallow. I think they were asleep at the switch," Professor Gaddis observed.
That brings the professor to George W. Bush, who he describes as undergoing "one of the most surprising transformations of an underrated national leader since Prince Hal became Henry V." Clearly, Professor Gaddis has not been a longtime admirer of George Bush. But he is now.
He observes that Bush "undertook a decisive and courageous reassessment of American grand strategy following the shock of the 9/11 attacks. At his doctrine's center, Bush placed the democratization of the Middle East and the urgent need to prevent terrorists and rogue states from getting nuclear weapons. Bush also boldly rejected the constraints of an outmoded international system that was really nothing more than a snapshot of the configuration of power that existed in 1945."
It is worth noting that John Kerry and the other Democrats' central criticism of President Bush -- the prosaic argument that he should have taken no action without U.N. approval -- is implicitly rejected by Professor Gaddis as being a proposed policy that would be constrained by an "outmoded international system."
In assessing Bush's progress to date, The Boston Globe article quotes Professor Gaddis: "so far the military action in Iraq has produced a modest improvement in American and global economic conditions; an intensified dialogue within the Arab world about political reform; a withdrawal of American forces from Saudi Arabia; and an increasing nervousness on the part of the Syrian and Iranian governments as they contemplated the consequences of being surrounded by American clients or surrogates. The United States has emerged as a more powerful and purposeful actor within the international system than it had been on September 11, 2001."
In another recent article, written before the Iraqi war, Professor Gaddis wrote that: "(Bush's) grand strategy is actually looking toward the culmination of the Wilsonian project of a world safe for Democracy, even in the Middle East. And this long-term dimension of it, it seems to me, goes beyond what we've seen in the thinking of more recent administrations. It is more characteristic of the kind of thinking, say, that the Truman administration was doing at the beginning of the Cold War ... "
Is President Bush becoming an historic world leader in the same category as President Franklin Roosevelt, as the eminent Ivy League professor argues? Or is he just a lying nitwit, as the eminent Democratic Party chairman and Clinton fundraiser Terry McAuliffe argues? I suspect that as this election year progresses, that may end up being the decisive debate. You can put me on the side of the professor.
©2003 Creators Syndicate
Contact Tony Blankley | Read Blankley's biography
TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bookreview; bushdoctrine; bushdoctrineunfold; gaddis; grandstrategy; gwb2004; strategery; strategy; tonyblankley
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posted on 02/10/2004 9:28:48 PM PST
You kick A$$.
posted on 02/10/2004 9:35:09 PM PST
by Redcoat LI
("If you're going to shoot,shoot,don't talk" Tuco BenedictoPacifico Juan Maria Ramirez)
To: section9; Nick Danger; Sabertooth; blam; Lazamataz; harpseal; Squantos; Travis McGee
posted on 02/10/2004 9:35:16 PM PST
(Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
wow!! Just wow!!!
That's great. I'm so tired of hearing the phrases "Bush violated international law!" or "He acted unilaterally!" that I could scream. There is no international law to violate! And even if there was, it would be horribly outdated, as this article points out. I'm glad someone can finally see that Bush knows what he's doing in the Middle East and with our foreign policy.
To: kattracks; ntnychik; autoresponder; MeekOneGOP
Bush's grand strategy
This certainly makes good reading!! Wish we could get it out to the 'hoi poli'.
posted on 02/10/2004 9:40:21 PM PST
(Whenever I feel 'blue', I start breathing again.)
I only have one quibble with the article. W has the fourth grand strategy. Ronald Reagan had the third. Thank (insert your favorite deity here) for both.
posted on 02/10/2004 9:40:36 PM PST
by Young Rhino
I agree. Bush has become a great world leader over the past 3 years. (I hope Jim Robinson doesn't kick me off FR for posting my opinion on this)
posted on 02/10/2004 9:41:09 PM PST
Great read. Thanks again kat.
posted on 02/10/2004 9:41:12 PM PST
(We're going to Boston in March. Can a Southerner LIVE 3 days without sweet tea? Pray for Jacob!)
I suppose the end of the Carter doctrine and the beginning of the Reagan years didn't qualify as a grand scheme in this termite's mind.
Laying waste to a super-power in less than eight years through peaceful means, setting a new economic policy that would essentially see another twenty plus years of prosperity befall this nation, and setting a moral tone that would have seen this nation start the new millinium with high morals, if only 'scratch and sniff' hadn't been elected, weren't worthy of an honorable mention.
Why is Bush policy worthy of all this praise, the intoning of 'sage status' regarding it's merit? Why hell, it's because he's spending on a level only rivaled by Roosevelt, and has made it pefectly clear that he'll bend over backwards for those who are stripping regions of this nation of it's wealth.
In addition Bush is laying the foundation for additional 60 year programs that will lay waste to the possibility of us every getting out from under the big nanny-state. At least this termite was smart enough to glom onto one of his own.
How did you get in here!
posted on 02/10/2004 9:44:27 PM PST
(Careful! Your TAGS are the mirror of your SOUL!)
Well Duh! the Ivy league professor finally figured out what we knew all along.....that the old model of the middle east forged upon the fall of the ottoman empire was not working for us, In fact it had turned upon the west.
GW has rightly realized that although the post ottoman middle east was forged by Europeans, its failures were being heaped upon the foot of America due to our role as leaders in the world (post cold war).
If we are to be saddled with being the cause of all the misfortunes of the past as leaders perhaps we the US should act as leaders and take charge of change.
GW has done this, and has set the world on a brave new course.
posted on 02/10/2004 9:46:51 PM PST
"so far the military action in Iraq has produced a modest improvement in American and global economic conditions;
- an intensified dialogue within the Arab world about political reform;
- a withdrawal of American forces from Saudi Arabia;
- and an increasing nervousness on the part of the Syrian and Iranian governments as they contemplated the consequences of being surrounded by American clients or surrogates.
- The United States has emerged as a more powerful and purposeful actor within the international system than it had been on September 11, 2001."
Per AlGore: "...Iraq is a misguided adventure..."
Just Shut Up Al!
posted on 02/10/2004 9:47:00 PM PST
(Kerry plans to apply post-Vietnam policy to Iraq: Skedaddle & let the Syrian Batthists take over)
What a great post. The President is a major man in a political world occupied by small men.
posted on 02/10/2004 9:52:48 PM PST
Also bigtime changes in Libya.
posted on 02/10/2004 9:53:09 PM PST
Reagan was the one who saw the Cold War through to its completion -- as such he was working within the framework of the "grand strategy" established by Roosevelt and Truman (I'm not sure why only Roosevelt and not also Truman get credit for the post WWII grand strategy). At least that's what I'm assuming Gaddis would say.
"Why hell, it's because he's spending on a level only rivaled by Roosevelt"
Not true if you go by a % of GDP. Not even close ! Spending under Reagan was 25% of GDP and under Bush it's 17.6%.
I'm not defending spending but lets keep the facts correct !
posted on 02/10/2004 9:59:49 PM PST
(It's US or THEM so what part don't you understand ?)
The professor is right on the money. And McAwful and company are still smartin' over the 2000 election. What a choice we had! We had to put either:
1) A BUSH
2) A PRICK
in the White House.
The Right Decision was made then. The Right Decision will be made in 2004. WHY?! Simple. Same choice:-)
posted on 02/10/2004 10:01:54 PM PST
(HOWARD DEAN FOR PRESIDENT (Cue Music: "Uppa U.S., Gov'Ner"))
Not true if you go by a % of GDP.
That is such a bogus argument. An immediate alarm that your pocket is being picked by a politician.
posted on 02/10/2004 10:05:51 PM PST
(What were you thinking, Al?)
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