One other point to consider, as the Obama Administration apparently entertains the possibility of military action against Syria: how much of our analysis of this situation, and our options, is colored by our adherence to concepts and a worldview that are outdated?
In the ’50s and ’60s, our intervention in Vietnam and elsewhere was justified by “the domino theory,” which held that countries would topple like dominos into the Communist column if we didn’t intervene through military force or some kind of CIA scheme. Our approach to foreign governments relied heavily on the money-oriented, Marshall Plan model that was so successful in western Europe after World War II.
Fifty years later, the Soviet Union is gone, the geopolitical map has changed, and our focus is on countries far away from western Europe and southeast Asia — yet the old themes play out, again and again. The colossal sums we…
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