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April 12, 2007
JOE BIDEN ON DARFUR:
''I would use American force now,'' Biden said at a hearing before his committee. ''I think it's not only time not to take force off the table. I think it's time to put force on the table and use it.''
In advocating use of military force, Biden said senior U.S. military officials in Europe told him that 2,500 U.S. troops could ''radically change the situation on the ground now.''
I agree with the sentiment, though we're a bit busy at the moment. Perhaps Biden should make pushing for a larger military a top priority.
UPDATE: Reader Ed Stephens writes: "Tell Joe Biden to ask the Europeans. . . 'Why don't they have 2,500 troops to send to Darfur?' If an area w/300 million people can't raise that many troops, then perhaps it's time we have a discussion about 'free riding' with them."
Meanwhile, The Mudville Gazette characterizes his position as "Screw Iraq, Invade Darfur:"
The harsh reality is that once we abandon Iraq we're going to have to put all the newly available troops in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda certainly will, and their recruiting is going to soar. Ultimately we'll lose that one, too, because they won't quit knowing full well that we will.
Then we can go to Darfur.
Behind much of the absurd talk of the impact of Iraq on military "readiness" there's a Democratic talking point: "Because we are in Iraq, we aren't capable of waging a war somewhere else." That's valid to an extent (but absurd to a greater one), but a more complete translation is that "because we are in Iraq we aren't capable of executing a war that Democrats could hypothetically support, because Democrats are tough on national defense, by golly, and there are plenty of wars in places other than Iraq we'd prosecute to prove it".
That's disturbing, I'm concerned they would do so a bit too eagerly given the opportunity. Biden seems to be going that route - but he could just be paying lip sevice to it to earn the "hawk" (or "tough guy realist") appellation the media bestows on guys like Murtha. (The actual "go to guy" for Dems when it's time to cut-and-run. See Somalia, for example.)
I'm all for doing things about Darfur. But I don't believe Biden.