Friday, November 28, 2008

The Need for Offense

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, the terrorist attacks in Mumbai show us that the world is still a very dangerous place with lots of people who want to cause panic in general and kill Americans in particular. That's a fact that we forget at our own peril.

Nearly 50 years ago in his book The Conscience of a Conservative Barry Goldwater explained the rationale for an aggressive approach toward combatting the Soviet Union. He wrote that if one side was playing offense and the other side was only playing defense, the group on the offensive would always win eventually. This makes a pretty good amount of sense if you think about it.

And so here we are in the fight against terrorism. We just received another reminder that we need to be on the offensive to find and kill these terrorists before they do the same to us.

That is not to say that we should immediately embark on a mission of military adventurism in all corners of the globe. We can't go around invading and occupying every country that may now or in the past have had a terrorist. What it does mean is that we need to have a lean, focused military with a lean, focused mission: find the terrorists and eliminate them.

Despite the posturing, this is something that George Bush has not done. Now we're poised to have a new president. Let's see if he understands things any better.

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