Edwards on Terrorism

There's a lot of promising notions here, though the meaty proposals are outlined with a fairly broad brush. I'll probably have more to say soon when I get a more in-depth understanding of what some of this is meant to mean. My favorite part, though, is really just the opening line: "There is no question that America is less safe today because of the president's 'War on Terror Doctrine.'"

Obviously, that's not a strategy, but by simultaneously rejecting the "war on terror" conceptual framework and the notion that Bush's policies have been successful, Edwards is signaling that he's open to running a foreign policy that's different from Bush's in broad, strategic terms. Hillary Clinton, by breaking the other way on both of those questions in the most recent debate, did the reverse. Edwards has still left it pretty unclear what that alternative vision will look like, but he's taken significant steps in the right direction.

UPDATE: Okay, I'd say my main doubt here is that the "Marshall Corps" Edwards is envisioning may not really be doable. Carlos Pascual tried to create a more modest (about 3,000) version of this kind of thing but it's not going so well. Edwards seem to place much more emphasis on this idea, though, so the odds of pulling it off increase.

Edwards approach to the force size / force structure question is really admirable. There's a dual temptation here to either take the "tough" path and call for a bigger Army or else play to the base by loudly denouncing those who are calling for one. Edwards is doing the sound thing and laying out some reasonable principles that should govern thinking about these issues and not prejudging exactly what number that will leave you with down the road.