November 20, 2006

Kissinger on Victory

Carroll Andrew Morse

Henry Kissinger’s statement from a BBC interview that victory in Iraq is no longer possible is causing a bit of a media stir. Here’s a snippet of CNN’s report on the subject…

A U.S. victory in Iraq is no longer possible under the conditions the Bush administration hopes to achieve, but a quick withdrawal of American troops would have "disastrous consequences," former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said Sunday....

"If you mean by clear military victory an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible," he said.

What needs to be remembered in evaluating these remarks is that this is not the first conflict where Dr. Kissinger has declared victory out-of-reach. During his tenure in the Nixon administration, Dr. Kissinger was the leading voice for basing American foreign policy on the idea that a clear victory over the Soviet Union was not a realistic objective.

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That's one of the problems I have with the "realist school" of diplomacy: they seem to be less about "keepin' it real" and more about "let's not get our hopes up." Kinda like diplomatic Eeyore's....Now, I can appreciate hedging bets, but they're so caught up in the hedging that they're surprised when there is actually a winner.

Posted by: Marc Comtois at November 20, 2006 1:30 PM
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