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Foreign Affairs

The Costs of Containment

I link so often to the Sage of Mt. Airy that I should probably turn in my NLT blogging license (I await wry comments).  In his latest post, the former Air Force flier (and political theorist) recalls a conference he attended in Bahrain, in 1999.  He applies his observations to our Iran policy.  I'll state his conclusion, in hopes that you read the build-up.

In order to relieve the boredom, the pilots had turned the mission into a game, in this case a game of luring a particular Iraqi pilot into the air in order to shoot him down.

Now imagine that attitude, our mission is a bore, spreading to an entire army. At the very least this is not conducive to the maintenance of a highly disciplined fighting force. With respect to Iran, containment may well be the policy our political leadership finally decides to pursue. Or, in the absence of more decisive action, it may come to be so by default. In either case, we should be under no illusion that it's a strategy of defending the nation on the cheap. The costs are considerable and they are not always immediately apparent.

Addendum:  The Sage's previous post commented on a piece on Iran by Michael Anton.

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