2002 October 21 Monday
Max Boot: Belief in Peace Process is Act of Faith

Max Boot, author of The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power, has written an essay about how the secular modern faith in peace processes can not be shaken by mere facts:

You might think that these events would tend to discredit the Clinton presidency. But it's too late for that. Two years after the Marc Rich pardon, one year after September 11, the Clinton administration cannot be discredited any further. The real question is whether these events will discredit the idea that peace comes from a "process." I rather think not, for like all true faiths it is impervious to empirical refutation....

...Professional peace processors are not likely to be put off by a minor inconvenience like North Korea's brandishing of nuclear weapons. They will just see it as one more reason to redouble efforts at "engagement" (a nicer word than "appeasement").

Update: Max Boot has also recently written an essay for the Washington Post on an aspect of the Bush National Security Strategy document that has occasioned surprisingly little discussion:

Now the Big Enchilada doctrine is back. The new Bush strategy proclaims: "Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military buildup in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States." This is even stronger language than that used a decade ago. But now the reaction is . . . pretty much, zip. Why?

The obvious answer is Sept. 11, which showed us what a dangerous place the world can be. But the National Security Strategy doesn't call for a temporary, wartime buildup to fight terrorism. It calls for a permanent policy of maintaining U.S. military hegemony.

You can find links to the Bush National Security Strategy document here.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 21 12:13 AM 


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