Tuesday, January 25, 2011


State of the State bay bee!

Kindred spirits over at Shadow Gov broke out 3 hot spots that hopefully - amidst all the jobs, civility and tone talk - 44 will fire off some signals about:


The administration continues to send conflicting and conflicted signals about the Afghanistan war and the meaning of July 2011 as a "drawdown" date. As Peter Feaver has argued, the White House's rhetorical neglect of Afghanistan threatens to erode tenuous public support. Meanwhile, key actors -- ranging from our NATO allies, India, and the Afghan people and government to Pakistan and the Taliban -- all remain uncertain about Great Satan's commitment to success in the Afghan mission. And all will in their own ways hedge accordingly. 

The Congressional audience tomorrow night will be essential for supporting and continuing to fund the war effort -- and needs to know it is a priority for the president. Most important, American forces currently deployed in theater need to hear from their commander-in-chief that he is resolved to see their efforts through.


When the governments of Iran, Little and Great Satan all say the same thing, it is probably true. So it seems to be the case that the Stuxnet virus has degraded Iran's uranium enrichment capability and thus delayed the clock on its nuclear weapons program. Yet if anything these setbacks have only exacerbated Iranian intransigence at the negotiating table. And a perpetual concern with the cagey Iranian regime is the "unknown unknowns" -- such as the possibility of other uranium enrichment sites, as yet undiscovered and undeclared. 

In short, the Iranian nuclear program remains a front-burner concern, and how it is handled will define in part the administration's foreign policy legacy. 44 should make clear tomorrow night to the Great Satan's' P-5 plus 1 partners, to Little Satan, and to the Iranian regime that he remains resolved that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons. And as February's anniversary of the Iranian revolution approaches, he should also make clear to the Iranian people that Great Satan supports their desire for liberty.

Al Qaeda. 

This year will witness the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Remarkably, al Qaeda has not since succeeded in another large-scale attack on American turf. As unfathomable as this fact would have seemed in the weeks following 9/11, it is no accident but rather stems from the vigilance of the 43's and subsequently 44's respective admins in pursuing aggressive counterterrorism policies. 

Policies which, as Stephen Carter of Yale Law School argues in his most recent book, 44's team may have denounced during their campaign but have adopted and expanded while in office. Yet Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri remain at large, al Qaeda remains viable and dangerous, and threats continue against Great Satan and our allies. 

44 should remind the nation that while we are safer we are not safe, and should remind al Qaeda's leadership that our commitment to defeat it remains undiminished. 

Pic - "The State of our Union is hot!"


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