Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More on the Foreign Policy Debate

First, a program note: C-SPAN will broadcast live a National Interest roundtable tomorrow at 3 PM on the theme of America as a crippled superpower.

It is indeed quite revealing that in response to yesterday's post I received a number of private communications about the prevalence of groupthink in the U.S. foreign policy establishment, or at least debate only within "acceptable limits." One person contrasted what you read on the editorial pages of major U.S. newspapers versus a much more lively debate--usually conducted by Americans!--on the pages of papers like the Financial Times (or the International Herald Tribune).

An interesting side note is whether British and Australian publications are poised to become what James Bennett might term "all-Anglosphere" publications, being able to act as conduits for debate and discussion from across the English-speaking world as well as the Anglophone elites in other states. And as I mentioned yesterday, if IPOs are moving to London, might not the intellectual capital be that far behind?

The Australian is a like Fox News. No depth there, but the usual smugness of being right. I would exclude Australia and NZ.

England is one alternative; India is another.
Regarding the security conference:

There has been a single-minded group think about foreign policy in America since the start of the drug war with its 'zero tolerance' propaganda that precludes actual open debate on both domestic and foreign policy implications of the $ 322 billion annual retail market for drugs. Terrorism funding and facilitation alone should be a topic of national debate.

largest source of terrorists' income.. illicit drug trade

Afghan opium crop increased by 40%
According to the "heroin" section of the 2006 Drug Threat Assessment of the U.S.-D.O.J., (PDF)
"....shortages in South American heroin availability would most likely result in an increase in Southwest Asian (Afghanistan) heroin distribution in U.S. drug markets"

"Creating chaos and instability"

The 2004 Congressional Research Service report to congress, "Illicit Drugs and the Terrorist Threat: Causal Links and Implications for Domestic Drug Control Policy" asserted that: "The international traffic in illicit drugs contributes to terrorist risk through at least five mechanisms: supplying cash, creating chaos and instability, supporting corruption, providing "cover" and sustaining common infrastructures for illicit activity, and competing for law enforcement and intelligence attention. Of these, cash and chaos are likely to be the two most important."

Our borders are a national security disaster area not because of worker immigrants but because the $ 144 annual U.S. retail drug market is so lucrative that it inspires entire industries dedicated to circumventing the best border security that we can buy.

The ultimate in asymmetric warfare is that alQaeda has been flooding the west with heroin for years to destabilize western culture.
One minor point--IHT is in Paris. What does that say, that you have to go to France to get a diverse set of opinions?
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