Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Yet more anti-liberal commentary: what about the claim that the war on Iraq is distracting the US from the war on terror?

I'm not convinced. Most resources that are used in Iraq are not the kind that would be useful in the war on terror: tanks, artillery, large numbers of ground troops. The war on terror is not a conventional war and has to be fought primarily with intelligence. Freeing up the tanks and troops currently used in Iraq is unlikely to help much.

I'd like to see some hard evidence that the war on terror has been seriously hurt by commitments in Iraq. Krugman's latest column, which I criticized in the previous post, cites a flurry of recent news stories reporting that the US might be close to capturing Osama as evidence. Krugman refers to the vague reports of a new US offensive to capture Osama in these stories and maintains that had we not gone to war in Iraq, this offensive would have began long ago.

It is not difficult to see the flaw in this logic. There can be a multitude of reasons why an offensive may have just became possible: say, new intelligence, new information from captured Islamic militants, and so on. Krugman is just making unfounded accusations.

As I said, I'd like to see some hard evidence.


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