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Analyzing strategy

July 10, 2009

Re "Obama's strategic blind spot," Opinion, July 6

Andrew J. Bacevich paints a relatively clear picture of his wish for a U.S. foreign policy strategy, but he cannot resist revealing a common bias. His barbs directed at George W. Bush and his administration are not relevant to his point.

Unfortunately, too, he fails to state what the goal of the strategy is, making it difficult to evaluate the likelihood of success or failure.

Taken literally, his commentary would suggest that the only goal is a strategy. One could infer that the goal of his proposed strategy is simply isolationism, as it includes no reference to the rest of the world other than as a victim of our prior policies.

Scott Perley

Irvine

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Based on what I know and have read of Bacevich's expertise in foreign military affairs, I think his understanding of the failure of the Obama administration to correctly outline a strategic vision for the U.S. is exactly right. And his list of five principles is detailed and specific.

But I would add one more: no more commitments of large numbers of U.S. forces to prolonged foreign conflicts without imposition of a nationwide draft. Only then would the public have a vested interest in the policy being pursued.

Todd Koerner

Hermosa Beach

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Powerful factions in both political parties with selfish agendas uninterested in a grand defensive strategy designed to protect the welfare of the American people control our foreign policy.

Bacevich and his eminently logical ideas about American security are being ignored in the halls of power because American security was never the primary issue.

Though President Obama may have the intellect to develop and execute such a grand strategy, politics prevents him from acting -- and he is above all a consummate politician.

Although these wars are being peddled to the masses as necessary to keep Americans safe, they in fact damage our security and have been undertaken to accomplish agendas unrelated to security.

Jack Devine

Torrance

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