April 29, 2007

Neocons for Obama

Dedicated neo-con (and TNR contributor) Robert Kagan hearts Barack Obama's foreign policy views. Huh. I'm less alarmed by Obama's imperialist ("interventionist," if you prefer) tendencies than, say, Max Sawicky, but only a little. Of the major contenders, Obama's instincts still seem the most sensibly dovish, although his proposal to expand the end strength of the Marines and Army by 92,000 soldiers strikes me as absurd.

Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives examined the 92,000-troop proposal back when the Secretary of Defense first floated it. By his calculations, we only need those extra troops if a) we plan to keep a force of about 80,000 in Iraq indefinitely; or b) we plan to "routinely and continuously" send 100,000 or more ground troops to do regime change, nation-building, or counterinsurgency abroad. If either of those things are in the cards, it would be nice to hear about it. $10 billion a year, minimum, is a lot to spend "just in case."
-- Brad Plumer 6:03 PM || ||