Obama Five Years Ago: "Without a well-articulated strategy that the public supports and the world understands, America will lack…legitimacy"
This quote of the day brought to you by the Washington Post's fact-checker, Glenn Kessler:
The fact is, close to five years after 9/11 and fifteen years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the United States still lacks a coherent national security policy. Instead of guiding principles, we have what appear to be a series of ad hoc decisions, with dubious results. Why invade Iraq and not North Korea or Burma? Why intervene in Bosnia and not Darfur?…Are we committed to use force wherever there's a despotic regime that's terrorizing its people—and if so, how long do we stay to ensure democracy takes root?…Perhaps someone inside the White House has clear answers to these questions. But our allies—and for that matter our enemies—certainly don't know what the answers are. More important, neither do the American people. Without a well-articulated strategy that the public supports and the world understands, America will lack the legitimacy—and ultimately the power—it needs to make the world safer than it is today.
–Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope (2006), page 302.
Kessler also flags the "don't get very hung up on this question of precedent" quote I pointed at yesterday, presenting the two statements "as another example of how things can look very different from inside the White House than from the outside." Quite.
More Reason on the "kinetic military action" here.