The events of the past seven years have yielded a definitive judgment on the strategy that the Bush administration conceived in the wake of 9/11 to wage its so-called Global War on Terror. That strategy has failed, massively and irrevocably. To acknowledge that failure is to confront an urgent national priority: to scrap the Bush approach in favor of a new national security strategy that is realistic and sustainable - a task that, alas, neither of the presidential candidates seems able to recognize or willing to take up.
Bacevich notes that it was just weeks after the terror attacks on September 11th, 2001 that Bush received from his Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld a memo that boldly and succinctly defined the administration's chief objectives in the War on Terror. Drafted by Rumsfeld's chief strategist, neocon Douglas Feith, the memo declared stated quite matter of factly: "If the war does not significantly change the world's political map, the US will not achieve its aim." As we all know now, Feith and his fellow travelers in the administration saw the inevitable aim of America foreign policy as completing a "transformation" of the Middle East region, and the Islamic world as well.
You would be hard-pressed to find a phrase that better expresses the nonsensical doctrines of "War on Terror" and "Pre-Emptive war," or the strategy of "running the tables" in the Middle East than "dangerously idealistic." And it was directly out of this unrealistic, hubristic notion that the US not only could, but actually needed to change the most anti-American region of the world - and billions of Muslims right along with it - that the unprovoked illegal invasion of Iraq was hatched.