Mar 25, 2004

Thoughts re: foreign policy and the Congressional inquiry into Sept 11 terrorism

1) Palestinian statehood with a stable government and economic prospects are essential to a US foreign policy.
2) Both parties are moving away from a diplomacy-first policy and want action.
3) "Actionable intelligence" isn't the worst of buzzwords and raises the policy question one ought to know how to answer: "What is actionable intelligence?"
4) Our foreign policy history is horrible but not horrible in consistent enough ways to learn a clear lesson from our messes (e.g., intervention or isolation? We've messed up both ways?) and that's a big reason why I have no idea if we should or should not have invaded Afghanistan before Sept. 11.
5) The secret service and special forces are both more and less present than we think they are or want them to be.
6) The Cold War was confusing. This is a lot worse.
7) We're overdue for a thinking through of our hodge-podge of foreign policy.