Reevaluating Clinton On The Kosovo War. He Stepped Up The Action and Prevailed
When compared to President George W. Bush, who has allowed himself to sink toward a quagmire in Iraq, the former President, Bill Clinton, seems to have done a better job in fighting the war in Kosovo.
In retrospect, again, Clinton, once he decided to fight, adjusted his policy steadily toward more rigorous war and ultimately prevailed, largely by air power.
There were moments when Clinton too appeared to be faced with a quagmire. It took him a long time to decide to exercise American power in the Balkans. And once he did, he started slowly.
But look at what happened. When it appeared that Yugoslavia was fighting on, Clinton stepped up the air attacks, encouraged the Albanians to open up an attack of their own, and ratcheted up the action to the point where Milosovich quit. It turns out to have been a skillful use of imperial power. And let's not kid ourselves, the U.S. must occasionally use imperial power.
Clinton appreciated a truth of real politique: Don't be too quick to fight. But once you decide to do so, pour in enough force to prevail in a reasonable time period. After all, Yugoslavia was simply too small a country to face off successfully against the U.S. and the other NATO powers.
By waiting to fight, Clinton was able to summon up a successful coalition, which Bush has had trouble doing in Iraq and even in the War on Terror in its entirety.
But the fact is that, just as with Yugoslavia, Iraq is too small to successfully take on the U.S., if the U.S. is determined to use enough force to win.
Clinton repeatedly readjusted his strategy in the Balkans. Even the attack on the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade may, actually, have been an intentional, bold stroke to get across the point that we were prepared to do what was necessary to prevail. Especially, since there were signs the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade may have been used for intelligence purposes against us. It was relatively easy for us to call it a mistake.
We need in the present circumstances to use more air power, to punish the Sunnis who have been joining the terrorists in fighting against us. Maybe an "accidental" attack on the Syrian border might even do some good. The Arabs will fold if enough force is used against them.
Who would have thought a year or so ago that Bush would turn out to be such a pussy cat, and that Clinton would have been confirmed so plainly to have been a successful war leader?
My friend Shelly Sloan might not like the comparison, but there it is.