Timely Book

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bruno, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Feb 2, 2008
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    this looks like an interesting and timely biography of a pretty influential (and deservedly so) pillar of the foreighn policy establishment Brent Scowcroft. Since Partisanship seems to be the order of the day- it would be nice to reflect on someone who looked at things from a wider , less parochial lens. Review from "The National Interest":

    "...Scowcroft pursued a more nuanced policy. He exploited Soviet decline during the Gulf War. He kept Moscow on board while resisting Soviet diplomatic attempts to obstruct a U.S. attack. But after the formal dissolution of the Soviet empire, Bush conspicuously refused to gloat over its demise. To their immense credit, Bush, Scowcroft and Secretary of State James Baker helped to unify Germany and end the Cold War—all without firing a shot. It’s an accomplishment that is only beginning to receive its proper recognition....

    ...The fourth lesson of Scowcroft’s career centers on the paramount goal of maintaining stability in the post–Cold War era. When it came to Iraq, the George H. W. Bush administration deployed a combination of diplomacy and military power to extrude Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991. But it also refrained from entering Baghdad for fear of the unpredictable consequences that might follow. Scowcroft never deviated from this stance, which is why an op-ed under his name appeared on August 15, 2002, in the Wall Street Journal headlined “Don’t Attack Saddam.” Just as Scowcroft had concluded that the Soviet Union lacked true missionary zeal, so he argued that Saddam Hussein was, at bottom, a “power-hungry survivor” who would not operate in tandem with Al Qaeda. Instead, he wrote that toppling Saddam would “swell the ranks of the terrorists” and might “destabilize Arab regimes in the region.” Scowcroft had it right...."
    "...his role as an establishment figure beyond mere partisanship. Scowcroft has not subordinated America’s interests to political point scoring. Instead, he has over the decades steadfastly adhered to a broader conception of the national interest, whether the issue is relations with China, Russia or Iran. Throughout, Scowcroft’s advice never varies. It’s calm, sober and judicious. He helped establish a firm foundation for his successors. That they flouted his advice was not his fault. Rice told Scowcroft at a dinner party, “No one told me Iraq would be so difficult.” “Yes, they did,” he replied, “but you weren’t listening.” It’s a mistake that no presidential candidate should want to replicate in 2016.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015

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