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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/21/14

Anarchy in Washington: Is Anybody in Charge?

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Cross-posted from Antiwar

Pentagon chief contradicts Obama on ground troops -- Obama contradicts him back

Pentagon chief contradicts Obama on ground troops
Pentagon chief contradicts Obama on ground troops
(Image by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)
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The President pledges "no combat troops" in Iraq.

The head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, says he may recommend combat ground troops in the battle against ISIS.

The President, in a speech, reiterates "no ground troops," and "no combat troops."

While Hillary Clinton, Obama's presumptive heir, waits in the wings as her scheme to arm the Syrian rebels is implemented and the fuse is lit on the Levantine tinderbox. It isn't a very long fuse....

So what is going on with the US government, and especially over at the Pentagon? Are they directly challenging the President -- who is then acting to quickly quash them? Sure looks like it.

Amid reports of a titanic battle within the Obama administration, the conflicting messages being put out there by various wings of the national security establishment remind us of the Empire's sheer size and the scale of the bureaucracy: it is large enough to constitute what are, in effect, competing governments -- a condition statists of every variety always told us was unworkable.

In short, when it comes to the making of American foreign policy what we have in Washington is what appears to be the functional definition of anarchy! And the libertarians haven't even taken over yet.

The mess that is the Obama plan for defeating ISIS perfectly illustrates the central dictum of what I call "libertarian realism" -- a theory of international relations that attributes foreign policy decision-making to primarily domestic political pressures, i.e., to the chief motivation of politicians everywhere, which is to maintain and expand their own power and their own term in office. The result is that US policy -- or, indeed, the foreign policy of any nation -- has little to do with facts on the ground, or how to utilize them to serve legitimate national interests. Instead, it's all about how to appease the various domestic pressure groups with a stake in the matter.

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Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (ISI, (more...)

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