Marginal Footnotes

[Nearly] Five Years Later
April 23, 2006, 2:26 pm
Filed under: Politics

The Washington Post is reporting today that the Secretary of Defense has finalized a 'campaign plan for the global war on terrorism'.  Phew!  Good to know that five years after the fact our government is getting its act together in a comprehensive and strategic way.  There is something deeply comic about this peice of news, which is to say that it's comical because it isn't new at all.  It's merely a beauracratic act of writing down what has likely been policy for a while. 

Of course there is an expansion of military powers.  According to the Post:

'in a subtle but important shift contained in a classified order last year, the Pentagon gained the leeway to inform — rather than gain the approval of — the U.S. ambassador before conducting military operations in a foreign country, according to several administration officials. "We do not need ambassador-level approval," said one defense official familiar with the order'

Very comforting.  Part of a general trend toward removing the barriers to violent escalation.  The plans naturally have identified the bad people.  And in the event of an attack, it is now national policy to act hastily rather than think through the possible consequences of launching violent retaliation: the plans outline 'a menu of options for the military to retaliate quickly against specific terrorist groups, individuals or state sponsors depending on who is believed to be behind an attack', according to the Post. 

Quickly.  Believed to be.  etc.   


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