The Man Between War and Peace by Thomas P.M. Barnett
The money quote from the magazine article that probably caused political WWIII:
Last December, when the National Intelligence Estimate downgraded the immediate nuclear threat from Iran, it seemed as if Fallon’s caution was justified. But still, well-placed observers now say that it will come as no surprise if Fallon is relieved of his command before his time is up next spring, maybe as early as this summer, in favor of a commander the White House considers to be more pliable. If that were to happen, it may well mean that the president and vice-president intend to take military action against Iran before the end of this year and don’t want a commander standing in their way.
We will be hearing a lot more about this in the next few days. Before the analysis commences, I’ll add that what Tom wrote for Esquire was not some shoot-from-the-hip, data-free analysis, op-ed, blog post. His profile of Admiral Fallon was deeply sourced and the product of a great deal of firsthand experience, careful research and extensive review to vett it prior to publication. Far more so, I might add, than what Thomas Ricks put up in WaPo in response. 🙂
I’ve redacted this section as the link was broken and the post has been removed by the author. In the interim, The SWJ BLog has put up an extended post that details the Barnett-Fallon-Ricks story in greater detail as well as Tom’s COIN coments (as well as linking here – thanks Dave!).
From the article…
Sixty years ago, George Kennan penned his landmark Foreign Affairs article that defined American foreign policy for the next half century. Seminal security policy decisions such as the creation of NATO, the blockade of Cuba and the Berlin airlift were all components of the policy of Containment. Today, a radical Islamic ideology seeks our destruction, yet we lack a unifying doctrine on which to base our foreign policy. Al Qaida and its ideological compatriots represent a worldwide insurgency based on religious extremism. At its core it is a political struggle with political aims and in order to defeat it, we need adapt our means to the nature of the struggle. We are not fighting a war on terrorism. We are fighting a global insurgency against an extremist brand of Islam.
Read the rest here.
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