Posted: 9/30/2009 10:45:03 AM EDT
Most people who know me know that I don't like pop-socialist economist Nouriel Roubini (from NYU).
However, since the MSM puts him on a pedestal for "predicting the current economic disaster" (conveniently forgetting Ron Paul and a handful of others), he gets a lot of camera time these days.
Anyhow, just because I don't like him doesn't mean I don't subscribe to his newsletter (literally).
Here is an excerpt from the latest issue of RGE Monitor:
Second Thoughts on ‘The Good War’ | Afghanistan, with its potential to drain national resources and wreak havoc with Obama’s political capital, ranks at the top of these challenges, and Obama’s policy there is at a turning point. The new president made good on campaign promises to add troops (some 20,000) to “the good war,” while moving to set an exit date from Iraq. But Afghanistan’s September elections dealt a blow to Obama’s characterization of the war. UN and other observers reported massive fraud on behalf of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, undermining the long-term goal of building a credible central government in Kabul that can ultimately take over the fight against the Taliban. | Shortly after the vote, a memo leaked to the Washington Post detailed a request for 30,000 more troops from Obama’s hand-picked commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The leak emboldened critics of the war, particularly liberals in Obama’s own party, into demanding a withdrawal. This remains a minority stance, but the war has lost significant support among the U.S. public, and uncertainty about where Washington stands on the issue can only hasten moves by NATO and other U.S. allies deployed in Afghanistan to remove their own forces. | Besides posing a risk to Obama’s presidency should casualties and public support move sharply in opposite directions, a severe setback for the United States in Afghanistan at this juncture would strengthen the narrative depicting American power as being in steep decline and possibly embolden rivals to test areas of the global status quo propped up largely by the U.S. since the Cold War ended.
I will re-format when I get out of [stupid] Safari.
* Note: RGE Monitor = Roubini Global Economics Monitor (this is the "free" or "non-subscription" version)
The assumption that future adversaries will assess a state's credibility based on their past actions, while oft-repeated, is a weak argument that really isn't supported by any empirical evidence. On the contrary, the best study to date D. Press that empirically tests this assumption wholly rejects it. Press argues, quite convincingly, that national leaders assess the credibility of their adversaries' threats by evaluating the balance of power and interests, not a state's history for keeping or breaking commitments.