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September 12, 2008


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I'm an Obama supporter myself, but I think she handled the question nicely. I spent a semester studying international humanitarian and human rights law, and I'm now in a national security clinic working on GWAT issues. Thus, I've spent a great time studying international conflict law and policy decisions and I found her answer quite reasonable. Preemtive strikes ought to be justified where we have /very strong/ evidence that an attack is imminent. Law makes no sense if we cannot do something about a crime until after it happens. This is why we have laws against attempted crimes in the US.

As for going into Packistan, I believe the reasoning would go: demand they capture the terrorists operating within their borders provided we can give them valuable information. There are terrorists operating within Germany, but that alone doesn't give us carte blanche to invade Germany. However, if we tell Germany where these terrorists are and Germany can't do anything about it (pretend this is Wazeeristan in Germany rather than Pakistan), then hopefully they ask us for assistance. If they refuse, that means they're harboring terrorists /purposely/ and therefore are an enemy state. Hopefully we could get permission from the UN Security Council to invade multilaterally.

The big question is: What if the UNSC refuses to give us permission? I mean, we do have treaty obligations.

As for the "Bush Doctrine" as a term, in a year of studying the GWAT, I've never heard the term used. It shows up in Wikipedia, but it's a six-year-old term. It's not like knowing what the Monroe or Truman Doctrine is or something. There could be twenty Bush Doctrines (e.g., high spending + lower taxes = sound fiscal policy). I really feel that Charlie was playing a gotcha game, picking an obscure term and asking her what it means.

It even sounds like that was his goal. Listen to the cadence and tone of his voice when he initially asks her about it. It's like he's saying it and looking at her, /daring/ her to say, "Please define that term."

All that aside, she did appear to be winging it. And she also had odd posture for someone, basically, interviewing for a prestigious job.


I of course know how to spell "Pakistan." Please cut me some slack.

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