Monday, December 06, 2004

Cold War Lessons

Paul Nitze died in Oct. at the age of 97. I am not sure how I missed it in the news and on TV. He was the author of "United States Objectives and Programs for National Security" more commonly known as: NSC-68. His work set the standard for how to win the Cold War. I am sure an NSC-68 equivalent for how to handle the current conflict has been written and I look forward to the day it is declassifed. We are in the middle east for the same reason we fought the cold war. Straight out of NSC-68:

"The fundamental purpose of the United States is laid down in the Preamble to the Constitution: ". . . to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." In essence, the fundamental purpose is to assure the integrity and vitality of our free society, which is founded upon the dignity and worth of the individual.
Three realities emerge as a consequence of this purpose: Our determination to maintain the essential elements of individual freedom, as set forth in the Constitution and Bill of Rights; our determination to create conditions under which our free and democratic system can live and prosper; and our determination to fight if necessary to defend our way of life, for which as in the Declaration of Independence, "with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

Todays enemy is not as clear cut as communism. It is difficult to choose our fights, mistakes have and will be made. But, one lesson that I think has been learned. In the current war on terror it is better to act than react.

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