Yes I watched the debate, and as always my personal opinions on politics will remain my personal opinions until the day I take off the uniform. But, there was a candidate who showed a clear understanding of National Security Strategy.
The Prussian Military Theorist Carl Von Clausewitz discussed risk and friction having a direct impact upon a Nation's Strategy and that end states and potential outcomes are crucial to understanding the question of whether to commit our most precious resource to the situation. This was echoed by GEN (Ret) Colin Powell when he issued his Powell Doctrine. In it he stated how we must ask these questions before deciding to commit American forces and if we do, then we do so without reservation of effort and with what exactly the commander's on the ground need.
Tonight Senator McCain gave his opinions on that subject, and did so perfectly. Within the debate he stated that if he was putting forth a "McCain Doctrine" then yes US Forces could be used to prevent crisis situations but it must have a beneficial outcome for us. It can not be a situation like Lebanon where there was no clear end state or beneficial outcome for us. He also re-iterted his support again for giving the commander's on the ground what they need and not playing an economy of force game. This is exactly what we need in a foreign policy statement. The wisdom to know when to commit forces. The opposing side clearly did not show this same wisdom.
The other area that I found frightening was the blatant display to Pakistan that one candidate will rule out respecting their sovereignty. Pakistan is a country that we need to work with to finish winning the Global War on Terror, not alienate. But then again we had President Karzai called an ineffective leader and a corrupt government. I almost dropped my cup of coffee when this was said. I've met President Karzai and worked with his staff, and trust me he is nothing but effective.
My hats off to Senator McCain. I've always respected him for his service and found many more reasons tonight.
God Bless America
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