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Provacative Read from STRATFOR, But Misguided October 26, 2010

Posted by Afflatus in Politics, World Affairs.
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This is a pretty provocative article by George Friedman at STRATFOR. Friedman basically argues that a successful full-scale attack on Iran is Obama’s best chance of getting reelected in 2012. He asserts this after speculating on Obama’s post-midterm political calculus. Though he concludes by arguing that an attack on Iran is not a good idea (the risks outweigh the rewards), he maintains that without a decisive attack upon Iran or an economic boom, Obama will fail to be reelected. It is indeed a subtle argument.

While I agree that an attack on Iran is not a good idea due to the potential negative repercussions (oil disruptions, Iranian-incited terrorist campaign, Iranian potential to excacerbate problems in Iraq and Afghanistan), I disagree that it is the only (or even the best) strategy for Obama’s reelection. I think that’s a silly argument to be making right now; It’s too early to make bold claims about the President’s reelection chances. Friedman’s article looks even more silly if he truly is against an Iranian attack and thinks it’s a bad idea. In this sense his argument trips on itself: If an Iranian attack is a debacle, as Friedman thinks to be most likely (risks outwiegh rewards), then this will further hurt Obama’s chances to get reelected not help them!

I thoroughly enjoyed the article for its insightful musings on both Obama’s political options and a potential Iranian attack. And for that I recommend it. However his conclusion that this is the best way for Obama to get reelected seems off base.


Comments»

1. Afflatus - November 3, 2010

Sadly, George Friedman’s bad idea is catching on; Elliott Abrams and David Broder have made similar arguments. Thankfully people like Marc Lynch, my former professor, are combating this bad idea with cool-headed reason.

I could tell Friedman’s argument was bad, but my professor does a better job explaining why it is truly terrible…

http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/10/31/the_strange_path_of_bomb_iran_for_votes_talking_point


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