Tuesday, April 05, 2005

World War IV

In September 2004, Norman Podhoretz of Commentary Magazine wrote an excellent essay on what we as a nation (specifically President Bush) have been trying to accomplish since September 11, 2001, "World War IV: How It Started, What It Means, and Why We Have to Win It." At the time that I read it, I found it to be incredibly informative and insightful with respect to our history of fighting terrorism, our mistakes (all parties are faulted to some extent), and the nature of the enemy we face. He characterizes the Cold War as WWIII, with over 100,000 American military deaths in Korea and Vietnam in addition to other allied deaths. Starting with the Truman Doctrine, the US engaged in a shifting strategy that included economic (Marshall Plan, aid to Turkey and Greece, among others), political, and military tactics to win a four-decade battle. The case is made that the War on Terrorism demands many of the same shifting tactics and is just as global in scale. If for no other reason, Podhoretz's narrative describing the Bush Doctrine is worth taking the time to read it. I will warn you that the essay is lengthy. Grab your favorite beverage, find a quite spot, and digest it. You will be happy you did.

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