Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Force Symmetry Across Political Spectrum

NightWatch had an interesting comment for its July 16th 2010 report. Regarding the government of Pakistan vis-a-vis India, it said that, basically, both the military regime and the progressive governments are hostile toward India, but in different ways. For example, Musharraf dialed back the tension in Kashmir, but increased support for LeT. The civilian governments reduced state funding of LeT, but increased tension in Kashmir.

This symmetry of force across the political spectrum, where both ends employ force, but in different ways, is echoed today in Danger Room. Spencer Ackerman reported on the appointment of John Bennett to chief of NCS, and mentioned that the Obama administration has greatly increased the scale of the drone campaign in the Afghanistan/Pakistan theater. At the same time, the United States is drawing down the human presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is similar to Bill Clinton's fondness for Tomahawk missiles and air strikes, juxtaposed against the Bush dynasty's multiple ground deployments (Panama, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan).

Governments have all found lethal force to be useful, regardless of their political stripes. The preference for conventional vs unconventional is shaped by domestic constituencies, but they all want to kill people. The Peace movement would do well to keep that in mind.

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