Interesting article by Peter Schweizer in USA Today. Comparisons sure to make Democrats woozy:
Critics have assailed President Bush for his strategy on terrorism, calling the war in Iraq a diversion from the main task of defeating al-Qaeda. But just days after the 60th anniversary of victory in World War II, it is striking to note how Franklin D. Roosevelt faced very similar critics and how President Bush has adopted a grand strategy very much in the Roosevelt tradition.
Read the whole thing. Schweizer shows comparisons like:
FDR - Criticized for his military strategy of defeating Germany before focusing on Japan.
Bush - Critics call the war in Iraq a diversion from the main task of defeating al-Qaeda.
FDR - Critics believed that his Germany-first strategy was a result of excessive British influence.
Bush - Critics claim Iraq strategy a result of conspiracy involving “Israel-loving neocons”.
FDR - Critics claim FDR purposely ignored evidence that Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor.
Bush - Critics claim Bush distorted intelligence to invade Iraq.
FDR - Motivation for defeating Germany first was fear that the Nazis were working on atomic weapons (postwar intelligence revealed that Germany did not have much of a program).
Bush - Motivation for defeating Iraq was the threat of WMDs cited by many countries and the previous Clinton administration.
FDR - Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany were opportunistic allies and FDR understood the need for a grand strategy that destroyed the movement, not just certain military aggressors that were part of it.
Bush - Islamist extremists and secular Saddam are opportunistic allies and Bush understands the need for a grand strategy that destroys the movement, not just certain military aggressors that are part of it.
FDR - Understood that only with political transformation would the postwar prospects for peace improve.
Bush - Understands that only with political transformation will the postwar prospects for peace improve.
The biggest difference between then and now is how quickly and often the public is bombarded with information. The average American citizen now receives updates on military efforts as quickly (and perhaps quicker) than military personnel commanding troops did 50 years ago. Unfortunately, antagonists exploit such information to bolster their “see, I told you so” campaign. The big picture and the “grand strategy” is harder to see when you’re living it minute-to-minute with a television and a computer.
There have been numerous tactical mistakes made in the war on terrorism, just as there were under Roosevelt 60 years ago. Nonetheless, we cannot let tragic, tactical setbacks, like the recent deaths of 20 Marines from one unit, lead us to abandon the grand strategy. Allied errors at the Battle of the Bulge didn’t mean the sweep across Europe was wrong…
Bush is in many ways FDR’s strategic soul mate. His war on terror is a total global war against a movement comprised of terrorist groups and their state sponsors. By ousting both Saddam and the Taliban, he has removed two important components of the worldwide terrorist movement. And his grand strategy is slowly achieving results.
The forces of reform in the Middle East have been strengthened; the terrorist movement has been psychologically shaken. By destroying Saddam’s military machine overnight, he has completely changed the psychology of the war on terrorism. Bush’s strategy is one that FDR would understand well.