Why The Neutralist? The term Isolationist implies a narrow Fortress America outlook and is used as an epithet. The term Neutralist does not indicate someone hiding out from the world. No one calls the Swiss isolationists. The Wilsonian world view is old, tired and wrong. Our interventions have been less and less successful and now the failure can no longer be covered up.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


The Iranian adventure appears to be on hold, and with the clear statement of the National Intelligence Estimate, maybe permanently so.

The Neutralist is happy with the announcement that,

We judge with high confidence that in the fall of 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program

Isn't that lovely. Is it possible that the conclusions of our intelliegence are policy driven and policy has changed? Let us quote George Friedman Strafor article of December 3, 2007 entitled The NIE Report: Solving a Geopolitical Problem with Iran

In looking at the report, a number of obvious questions come up. First, how did the intelligence community reach the wrong conclusion in the spring of 2005, when it last released an NIE on Iran, and what changed by 2007? Also, why did the United States reach the wrong conclusions on Iran three years after its program was halted? There are two possible answers. One is intelligence failure and the other is political redefinition.

Also, from the article's previous paragraph,

The NIE release represents a transformation of U.S. policy toward Iran. The Bush administration made Iran's nuclear weapons program the main reason for its attempt to create an international coalition against Iran, on the premise that a nuclear-armed Iran was unacceptable. If there is no Iranian nuclear program, then what is the rationale for the coalition? Moreover, what is the logic of resisting Iran's efforts in Iraq, rather than cooperating?

So does someone high up say, "Today the alliance is between Eastasia and Oceania and we need an intel estimate reflecting that." Nothing so crass, I am sure.

Mr. Friedman's article goes through the problems of collecting and using intelligence. They are many and varied and reading his article will give more detail. Suffice it to say, in our overseas adventuring (not wishing to cause a hissy fit amongst those offended by calling our having troops, fleets and aircraft in all corners of the Earth imperialism)intelligence must serve policy and propaganda as well as actual knowledge of other countries intentions.

This is why we beat the drum constantly (if not frequently enough) for a neutralist national ethos. If we are less places the need for political uses of intelligence will go down, as well as, one hopes, costs and corrupting influences.

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