In Power’s view, to be credible, humanitarian interventions must respond to immediate danger (thus Obama’s waiting until the militarily unpropitious moment when Benghazi itself was under imminent threat), must be supported by multilateral bodies (thus the resort to the U.N., NATO, and the Arab League in preference to the U.S. Congress), “must forswear up front . . . commercial or strategic interests in the region” (thus the disavowal of regime change as a goal of our multilateral action), and must “commit to remaining for a finite period” (as Obama has pledged to do in Libya). Even NATO’s threat to bomb the rebels if they kill civilians (which struck many as unrealistic, and at cross-purposes with our supposed military goals) is foreshadowed in Power’s writings, which highlight the need to police both sides in any humanitarian action.Contrast that with the five-point doctrine enunciated (hat tip: DaTechGuy) by Sarah Palin last Sunday in her speech in Denver:
Compare and contrast.
I believe our criteria before we send our young men and women, America’s finest, into harm’s way, I believe that our criteria should be spelled out clearly when it comes to the use of our military force. I can tell you what I believe that criteria should be. I can tell you what it should be in five points:Second, if we have to fight, we fight to win. To do that we use overwhelming force. We only send our troops into war with the objective to defeat the enemy as quickly as possible.
First, we should only commit our forces when clear and vital American interests are at stake, period.
We do not send our military and stretch out the mission with an open-ended and ill-defined mission. Nation-building, a nice idea in theory, but it’s not the main purpose of our armed forces. We use our military to win wars.
And third, we must have clearly defined goals and objectives before sending our troops into harm’s way. If you can’t explain the mission to the American people clearly, concisely, then our sons and daughters should not be sent to battle. Period.
Fourth, American soldiers must never be put under foreign command. We will fight side by side by our allies, but American soldiers must remain under the care and command of the American officers.
And fifth, sending our armed forces should be the last resort. We don’t go looking for dragons to slay. However, we will encourage the forces of freedom around the world who are sincerely fighting for the empowerment of the individual.