Sunday, November 09, 2003

On Grand Goals in Iraq -  

Jack Beatty offers a refutation of, let's call it The Friedman Doctrine, in the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly which is provocative. The gist of his piece is that it may be good to redefine our goals in Iraq, and by extension I suppose in foreign policy more generally, from, roughly, world transformation to just moderate improvement.

I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this, I like a good rhetorical call to arms as much as the next guy (very possibly more, depending on who exactly the next guy is), but it is indisputable that we operate within finite budget constraints. It is certainly worthwhile, therefore, to ask whether Iraq, and more generally global transformation through induced regime change, is the best use of resources. Clearly this will come into focus, at least for Iraq, as the cost of revitalizing society becomes clearer.

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