John Bolton on War & Peace
According to polls, Americans are weary of the Afghan conflict, so Obama sees another chance to declare the war on terror over and also to score domestic political points. Americans are "war weary" about Afghanistan for specific reasons. As president, Obama has repeatedly insisted there was no rationale for a "war on terrorism" and that he will end the wars he inherited.
A: It is central to successful US foreign policy that we achieve the overwhelming preponderance of our key objectives diplomatically, without the use of force. But as the Romans said, "si vis pacem, para bellum": If you want peace, prepare for war. George Washington used the maxim in his first State of the Union address, and in our day, Ronald Reagan characterized his policy as "peace through strength." The point is clear. Unfortunately, too many mistake resolve for belligerence. President Obama, for example, acts as if American strength is provocative. This is exactly backwards. It is not our strength that is provocative, but our weakness, which simply emboldens our adversaries to take advantage of what they see as decline and retreat.
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