Tuesday, September 24, 2013

We live in a world of imperfect choices

“We live in a world of imperfect choices.”

Those words were spoken today by President Obama during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly.  Eight simple words that adeptly describe most geopolitical situations and the decisions world leaders face.  We live in an uncertain world were the only certainty is being second guessed.  Second guessed by political pundits and opposition mouth pieces whose only skill is Monday morning quarterbacking and backseat driving.

Imperfect choices indeed.

Syria: Get involved to stop the slaughter and risk getting bogged down in another Middle East Muslim nation.  Force regime change to get rid of a despotic butcher, only to risk replacing him with a failed state home to terrorists or a radical Sunni regime committed to attacking Israel.  Arm the rebels so they can defend themselves, and in the process increase the rate of killing and perhaps arming the same guys we way fight in the near future.

Egypt: Continue to prop up the repressive Mubarak regime and turn our back on the demographic principles we espouse.   Let the despotic Mubarak fall and risk the rise of an Islamist regime that could destabilize the region and threaten Israel, our closest regional ally in the region.  Stand by and let the Islamist government fall and hope it is replaced by a secular pro-western government or oppose the obvious coup. 

Be the world’s policeman and suffer the consequences of spilling U.S. blood and risk condemnation or stay out of the fray and risk condemnation and possibly an unsatisfactory outcome.

Stand for our principles or choose based on our interests. (Of course I can and will argue later in a future post that these are not mutually exclusive).

Risk long term troubles to secure short term stability and interests.

Fight evil with the gloves off or stand on principle.

Will the enemy of my enemy be my friend?  And if so, for how long?

If you give an inch can you claim a mile at the end of the day?

Imperfect choices indeed.

I do not envy the men and women who have to make these choices.  A baseball player who hits .300, is considered a great hitter and that’s only a success rate of 30%.  In the world of geopolitics, a much higher success ratio is necessary and it comes down to a lot more than swing or not swing.  Worse political pressure and expediency can influence decision makers, fallible men and women who can be swayed by poll numbers.  The short term decision that leads to future troubles.

Imperfect choices indeed.


No comments:

Post a Comment