New York Times Calls for Increase in Military
Didn’t that headline just cause you to spew coffee all over your monitor?
In fact, the New York Times comes perilously close to calling for an increase in the U.S. military but, upon consulting their style manual remains true to form and veers 180 degrees from such a horrific conslusion. Obviously, the style manual is being followed.
Page 119: Anything which forces the U.S. to adopt multilateral possitions on any foreign policy issue should be emphasized to the exclusion of even other, logical, positions
Page 187: When writing about the military, reporters will avoid any and all conclusions that would lead to an increase in miiltary end strength. Remember, guns bad, butter good.
How else to explain this passage?
This is the clearest warning yet that the Bush administration is pushing America’s peacetime armed forces toward their limits. Washington will not be able to sustain the mismatch between unrealistic White House ambitions and finite Pentagon means much longer without long-term damage to our military strength. The only solution is for the Bush administration to return to foreign policy sanity, starting with a more cooperative, less vindictive approach to European allies who could help share America’s military burdens.
The only solution? ONLY?
Hell, the Times has a short memory.
Because on July 17, 2003 on the Op-Ed page, from which the NYT preaches how we should all live, one Robert Lane Greene points out when discussing the European Union:
And though the union plans a new rapid-reaction military force, which could see duty in places like Macedonia (where several union members now have troops under a union flag), the creation of a truly sizable ”euro army” that could rival America’s remains unthinkable, not least because it would require Europeans to spend money they do not have on upgrading military hardware.
So let’s see if we got this straight — we should rely more on Europeans (December 29, 2003 Op-Ed) who can’t be relied upon because they don’t have and won’t have the equipment or force size to help out (July 17, 2003 Op-Ed).
Say this for the NYT, at least ‘dem boys is consistent. Illogical, but consistent.
Because we just got the same argument from them we got in this Octoebr 5, 2003 Op-Ed:
America now spends some $400 billion a year on defense, more than all other major military powers combined. The best answer to the strains being felt by the Army is not to extend combat tours, cannibalize forces from other missions or undertake vast new spending. A wiser course would be to return to the sound practice of a half-century and treat war only as a last resort, to be undertaken with as wide a coalition of allies as possible. Doing it Mr. Bush’s way unnecessarily risks undermining the fighting strength of even the world’s strongest military power.
Yes, we should instead rely upon the Europeans who dithered in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Kosovo. Yes, let us rely instead upon the Europeans since recent history proves when there is work to be done, the Euros refuse to do it.
Yes, people actually make these arguments. And these are the people who disparage “the military mind” at cocktail parties on the Upper East Side.
In “Paradise and Power” Robert Kagan points out the reason why the Europeans why the Europeans act the way they do — they have to.
Kagan thinks the U.S. only behaves as the powerful nation it actually is. Just as the European nations once did when they ruled the world. Now, Europe must act multilaterally because it has no choice. They are simply too weak, an opinion found (obliquely) on the very pages of the NYT. As Kagan puts it “The “UN Security Council is a substitute for the power they lack.”
(But you’ll note that there’s never an outcry about unilateralism when European powers act on their own, as the French just did in Ivory Coast. Nope, THAT is OK.)
So we cannot rely on the Europeans because they lack the resources and/or key capabilities and will for the foreseeable future. (I won’t even discuss their power projection capability which is non-existant.). But the NYT doesn’t want America to increase the size of its military, instead they want us to rely on the Europeans.
That is the definition of a non-sequitur.
When the NYT calls for the Europeans to increase the size of their militaries so that we can call upon them, then it may be assumed to have returned once again to the realm of reality.