Good, I'm glad he narrowed it down. I'm sorry, but this sounds too ominously like Obama's fellow-Democrat and former President, John F. Kennedy, who got us into worlds of trouble in Southeast Asia. No more perilous four words --foreign, at that--have perhaps ever been spoken than "Ich bin ein Berliner" from his famous 1963 "jelly doughnut" speech, mentioned earlier (DM #170). JFK was proclaiming himself not only a citizen of Berlin, but a member of it's police department, and by extension taking on law-enforcement duties for the rest of the world. But he was simply reiterating more colorfully what he promised at his inaugural ("auguring" ill in foreign affairs for decades to come) two years earlier:
The struggle against violent extremism will NOT BE FINISHED QUICKLY, AND IT EXTENDS WELL BEYOND [!] AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN. It will be an ENDURING test of our FREE SOCIETY, and our LEADERSHIP in the world. and unlike the great power conflicts and clear lines of division that defined the 20th century, our effort WILL INVOLVE DISORDERLY REGIONS AND DIFFUSE ENEMIES. [emphases added]
Let EVERY NATION know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall PAY ANY PRICE, BEAR ANY BURDEN, MEET ANY HARDSHIP, SUPPORT ANY FRIEND, OPPOSE ANY FOE TO ASSURE THE SURVIVAL AND THE SUCCESS OF LIBERTY ... This much we pledge, AND MORE.
The "and more" footnote is the killer. It's been getting us in trouble ever since. And don't we see these broad, fight-for-freedom-at-any-cost-anywhere brush-strokes re-limned on Obama's palette? Moreover, what are we to make of our President's vague "disorderly regions" and "diffuse enemies" that our "free society" might have to contend with in the future? Just as in Kennedy's speech, Obama is writing himself a carte blanche for military adventurism that can be cashed anywhere around the globe.
And he proves it in the very next paragraph ... a scary one, to my mind:
"Nimble" is a bit glib, don't you think? At best ill-chosen. It noisily warps into "Barack-be-nimble, Barack-be-quick" for me, unfortunately. (Yes, I'm angry.)
So as a result, America will have to show our strength in the way we end wars and prevent conflict. we will have to be NIMBLE and PRECISE in our use of MILITARY POWER. Where al Qaeda and its ALLIES attempt to establish a foothold--whether in Somalia or Yemen or ELSEWHERE--they MUST BE CONFRONTED by growing pressure and strong partnerships.