06 December, 2009
04 December, 2009
That's the real issue behind the announcement to station American troops and a battery of Patriot missiles on the soil of Poland. One missile battery won't have much real effect, and the troops will be on rotation from Germany, but the symbolic message is there. Yet another "tripwire." Since Russia and Belarus recently held nuclear war games, including a simulated beach landing in Poland, some Poles are happy to get whatever support they can.
02 December, 2009
Probably the best we could do, under the circumstances. Maintaining the distinctions between the Iraq and Afghan Wars was important. Even more important was setting victory conditions that might be achieved. It is not about making Afghanistan "secure" or "free," it's about providing the breathing space to develop a local government that is willing and able to prevent the use of Afghanistan as a base for training and operating transnational terrorists. With that definition it is possible to declare victory and go home--or learn that no such government is possible, go home, and when necessary blast the terrorist camps (and/or Afghan government) as they emerge.
01 December, 2009
That's really what's at issue here. A Serbian friend of mine constantly reminded me during the Kosovo War that what NATO was doing was a violation of fundamental legal norms, and while he was right he never quite grasped that his point may be increasingly irrelevant. The norms are changing. What are the new norms, and how will they emerge? An advisory opinion of the ICJ isn't going to settle these issues, but it might have some influence on the debate. Keep watching.
The treaty says that unanimous agreement will still be needed to affect taxes, foreign policy, defence and social security, areas where countries take their sovereignty very seriously. On the other hand, what constitutes "climate change" or "energy security" or "social security?" It looks like what we are getting here--as has been observed about the US Constitution-- is "invitation to struggle."