A useful debate is taking place in the WaPo, between Richard Holbrooke and Newt Gingrich about best approaches to managing the global struggle with Islamic jihadism, and I'm curious to hear reactions from readers of this site to these issues.
Do readers here believe, or disbelieve, the assertion that the struggle with jihadism is the clearly dominant foreign policy issue of this era, the equivalent of the struggles against Nazism and communism from earlier eras? If so, what policies should Democrats propose for winning this struggle? Is "winning" a serious, sensible goal?
To be more specific, is this threat so severe and so impending that, for instance, the U.S. should seriously consider military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Would a nuclear-armed Iran pose a "real and present danger" requiring a military response? If not, how should such an Iran be handled?
Whatever happens in Iraq, should the U.S. re-invest military assets into Afghanistan, to prevent what looks like a serious slide back into Taliban & al Quaeda influence? Should the U.S. engage militarily to prevent Somalia from also becoming such a terrorist base?
Should the U.S. place significant pressures on Saudi Arabia to end its support for radical Islamist movements, regardless of other considerations?
My questions are narrowly focused here. I certainly don't reject diplomacy, "soft power" approaches, etc. But Democrats have been depicted as too unwilling to use military force, even when faced with real--as opposed to ginned-up--threats. Are Democrats so blinded by anti-Bush hatred that they have not addressed adequately the real threats that loom? Do Democrats accurately comprehend the nature of the threats?
Democratic candidates who are only anti-Bush, anti-Iraq war, but who have no concrete plans for dealing with the larger global threats posed by terrorists willing to engage in suicide bombings, cannot get elected to the White House, IMO. And perhaps should not be elected....