The trouble with Chaffetz’s brand of “antiwar” stance is that he conceives of a “withdrawal” from Afghanistan being a prelude to the perpetual use of air strikes and targeted assassinations. His alternative of “going big” and eliminating strict rules of engagement is a pose of “freeing” the military from constraints that the top commanders themselves insist on having to give their mission the best chance of success. Barring the deployment of an even larger force with few constraints on how they operate, Chaffetz advocates a “withdrawal” from Afghanistan that will be as non-interventionist as Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza. In this approach, we will reserve the right to launch attacks on their territory with impunity whenever we wish, but otherwise we will wash our hands of the place and the consequences of our actions.
James Joyner doesn't expect the tea party movement to join forces with Code Pink any time soon:
What strikes me as far, far more likely is that Iraq and Afghanistan will once again remind us of the limits of American power and cause Republicans to be more skeptical of future wars, both in terms of intervening to begin with and in setting realistic war aims.
The result wouldn’t be a significant Republican Dove movement even on the Left, true pacifists are a fringe in America but a much more traditional Realist bent. As Andrew Sullivan wrote nearly three years ago, those people dominated the Republican Party until quite recently.
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