Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 19, 2003
POLITICS: Stryker on Clark

About the only thing worth examining on Wesley Clark's resume -- at least as far as his qualifications for high executive leadership are concerned -- is his leadership of the Kosovo war. For this reason, attention has focused on the charge that Clark risked starting a war with the Russians with aggressive operations at Pristina Airport until cooler heads prevailed. The charge is deeply ironic, since it casts Clark as precisely the hot-headed, unilateral, overly aggressive cowboy that his supporters love to caricature George W. Bush as being.

Sergeant Stryker has taken an enlightening closer look at this incident, and while there remains fair grounds for dispute over Clark's judgment, it's clear that he showed good instincts -- not backing down from aggression just to keep the allies happy -- and that his reaction was one of the reasonable options. Where you ultimately come out on the proper resolution of this particular crisis depends in large part on what you think of the whole murky Kosovo operation, a subject that I admit I paid little attention to at the time and on which I never bothered to form a strong opinion.

Andrew Sullivan, by contrast, has a much more damning take on Clark's 2002 article in the Washington Monthly, in which he lauds the value of running foreign policy by committee.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:46 PM | Politics 2002-03 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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