Our Thirty Years’ War

Sunday, August 2, 2020, marks thirty years since the United States became embroiled in what seems endless wars, at great cost, in Southwest and Central Asia.  That was the day that Iraq invaded Kuwait.   It seems that an ambiguous comment made to Saddam Hussein by Ambassador April Glaspie had led him to believe the United States would take a hands-off approach if he used force in disputes with Kuwait over border and oil-export issues. Ambiguous policy positions can be misinterpreted with disastrous consequences; Thucydides informs us that they have been at least since the Peloponnesian War.  Likewise such a statement by Secretary of State Dean Acheson in January, 1950, was probably a factor in the decision by North Korea to invade South Korea that June. So Saddam invaded and Prime Minister Thatcher understood that strong action was imperative. She conveyed to President George H.W. Bush her concern that he might “go wobbly.”  As she...(Read Full Article)
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