Iraq\'s Silver Lining

Not so much a silver lining for the people of Iraq, but as a result of the Iraq War the US Military is exhausted, and the Bush Administration has resisted all calls to expand the military to allow us to do more while maintaining three divisions in a combat garrison.

Kevin Drum, who has called for Empire before (albeit of a different sort), warns that the wrong kind of imperialism will come forth in a possible Bush 2nd term, with up to 6 more wars.

Being a free-trader myself, I happily outsource to Matthew Yglesias the burden of responding. Matthew points out that since we hardly have the troops to maintain our Iraq position, invading Iran would be a fiasco:

Thinking about the other countries with bad traits, the case for fiasco seems stronger almost across the board. You've got Saudi Arabia (holy cities), Pakistan (way too many people, nuclear bombs), North Korea (nuclear bombs, ballistic missiles, an impoverished population providing for which would sap our economy), maybe Sudan (too big, in Africa). The exception is Syria, which presents Iran-like problems but to a lesser degree, and with regards to which the case for the intolerability of the present regime is by far the weakest.

To invade any of these countries would require a sort of mobilization of American society that I strongly doubt public opinion would accept, and which the Bush administration has done nothing to lay the groundwork for.

Precisely. The beauty of the Bush administration's destruction of the popular will to war through dubious WMD arguments, and the effort involved in maintaining the Iraq occupation, is that there's nothing left in the cupboard for chickenshit interventionists to use against places like, say, Haiti (aside from the token force we put in to help the French[!]), Liberia, etc. Y'know, the little places that have no strategic or military value but look good on a resume to bomb from 50,000 feet or occupy with a few thousand troops.

Huzzah!

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The pantry is indeed bear.

The pantry is indeed bear. There are no more resources left to fight anyone else... Why is that?? One of the reasons is that we are the primary provider of securuty to europe. Does anyone really believe that anyone in Europe other than britian could wage an international war on terror? afghanistan? Having just moved to europe from WDC... I was amazed at the relative exhorbance of the social programs here. 3 reasons for this. High taxes, Marshall Plan, and relatively low military budgets. Now I am quite amazed that I dont get a thankyou from every austrian I see.

Well, hopefully Bush will

Well, hopefully Bush will follow-through on his plan to withdraw the troops from Germany/Europe and South Korea and keep them in the US where they belong.

No more subsidies for European defense!