By Stephen M. Walt
"Here's a strategic puzzle for you: How do you convince the American people to
support the kind of wars we seem to be fighting these days, especially when
these "wars of choice" aren't about defending U.S. territory or vital overseas
Similarly, wars that can only be waged via threat-inflation or by concealing
what our troops are really doing inevitably corrupts public discourse and
distorts public perceptions of America's real role in the world. We constantly
ask ourselves "why do they hate us?" and one reason we don't know the answer is
that we may not know what is actually being done in our name in some far-flung
corner of the world.
Where does this train of logic leave me? If you can't get public support for
low-level but long-term military commitments for relatively minor stakes without
threat-inflating, task-deflating, or concealing what you're up to, maybe you
shouldn't be doing these things in the first place. Just a thought."