A Truman for Our Times
By Edward Luttwak, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Reviewed by Francis P. Sempa, Contributing Editor
In a thought-provoking article in Britain's Prospect Magazine, the respected defense/foreign policy analyst Edward Luttwak persuasively refutes the conventional wisdom that George W. Bush's foreign policy has been an unmitigated failure. Bush, instead, writes Luttwak, should be viewed as a "great president in the Truman mould."
Like Truman and Korea in 1952, Bush today is unpopular and considered a failed president due to an unpopular war in Iraq. Luttwak contends, however, that the perspective of time will demonstrate that the Iraq War is a costly sideshow in Bush's otherwise successful "global counteroffensive against Islamic militancy," just as history demonstrated that the Korean War was a costly sideshow in Truman's otherwise successful global policy of containment.
Luttwak argues that the focus on the difficulties in Iraq has deflected attention from the broad success of Bush's anti-jihadist policy. That success consists of: "the destruction of al Qaeda training bases in Afghanistan, the...