Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Howard Dean, guest-blogging at the Lessig weblog: “(O)ne of you asked if there would be a White House blog. Why not?” Boy I hope he’s coming to BloggerCon.

6:41:04 PM    comment []

And while we’re talking about military strategy…there’s some important new research on the odds of winning at “Risk.”


“Recent analyses reveal that the chances of winning a battle are considerably more favorable for the attacker than was originally suspected,” reports Science News Online (found via Newmark’s Door).


When I was a kid I found “Risk” frustrating because there was always a player who acted with no regard for logic or strategy, or somebody would get mad and spend the rest of the game trying to destroy his neighbor no matter what the cost to himself, or someone would sacrifice everything to hold onto a meaningless piece of territory. I thought this all detracted from the realism of the game. Then I grew up and found out it was all amazingly lifelike.

2:40:51 PM    comment []

This morning’s Tom Friedman column was an important one. We need to win the rest of the war in Iraq and then we need to win the peace. I’d just add that “we” includes all Americans, regardless of political party.


“Eyes on the prize, please,” says Friedman, urging the Bush administration to spend less time on ass-covering and more attention to the facts on the ground. But the Democrats, too, need to show they are serious. I’d like to learn more from the Democratic contenders (sic) about what they would do in Iraq and the region.


If a Democrat wins next year, what would be the future of Bush’s aggressive military strategy of addressing state-sponsored terrorism emanating from the Middle East? What will our message be toward Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria? How much time and money would a Democratic president devote to nation building? Those are answers I’d like to hear.


It doesn’t matter if you didn’t want to go to war, it’s done. We are where we are. Where we go next is the key.


That doesn’t mean that Bush shouldn’t get pounded for any shady tactics used to sell his agenda to the nation. But that agenda is in place. Friedman hardly gives Bush a free pass on resorting to “phony reasons for going to war,” but he’s able to compartmentalize. His advice is detailed and tough: “Sunni Muslim areas…need to be reinvaded and then showered with reconstruction funds,” and “we must provide massive support for the new Council.”


Screwing up on nation-building in Iraq will lead to more terrorism and undermine our status in the world. The same is true in Afghanistan. That’s why Democrats should lay off the trusty quagmire rhetoric and avoid politicizing the reconstruction process. There is no quick exit or cheap solution if we do it right.


Eyes on prize, please, everyone.

2:26:25 PM    comment []