Send in the State Department

"WHATEVER the future holds for Iraq, within a year or two there will be far fewer American troops there, and the debate over whether our military is overstretched may subside"

The debate will subside because with US forces fighting in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, any debate over whether our military is overstretched will be obviously ludicrous.

"The military wants to increasingly manage the world through quiet cooperation on one hand, and the use of host-country proxies on the other."

It's not the constitutional function of the US military to "manage the world." Its only lawful job is to defend the United States against foreign aggression. This country has been made to suffer about all the "world managing" it can afford in terms of cash spent, blood spilled, and bitter enemies made.
It would be good for State to actually do it's job , instead of finding another ants nest to kick over.

Or even stop kicking over any old nest in the hope of finding ants.

Or stop listening to whomsoever is telling them, that that suspicious looking mound they don't like the look of , is in fact an ants nest which threatens their existence.
I remember listening to Radio 4's PM on the afternoon of the Hamas' election victory. Condi Rice, who had been airborne enroute to Europe at the time, was then reported to have said, "why didn't anyone at State warn me this would happen?" At the time, I nearly piled the car into the central reservation with laughter...

In view of the above, I have a question for those who follow the US State Department closer than I. Did they 'not see this happen' because:
1) Intelligence on the ground was non-existant, spare or inaccurate.
2) Intelligence analysts in Langley and Washington screwed up their briefings from sound raw intelligence.
3) The culture in the State Dept. is to provide briefings on the basis of 'what the boss wants to hear not what he/she should hear'?
Saudi rejects Rice on Hamas stand

By Saul Hudson
RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia deepened a U.S.-Arab split over Hamas on Wednesday, joining Egypt's rejection of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's appeal for neighbors to deny aid to a Palestinian government led by the militant group.

Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest donors to the Palestinians, warned against the U.S. position of stopping aid before seeing what policies the anti-Israel group adopts in government.

And Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said at a late night news conference with Rice that all aid to Palestinians should be based only on humanitarian needs.

That contrasts with the United States, which has said it will continue humanitarian aid but cut off assistance to a government led by a group it considers a terrorist organization.

"The kingdom affirmed its complete commitment to avoid jumping to make prejudgments," he said.

"(Saudi Arabia) hopes that international aid for the Palestinian people should be linked only with the pressing humanitarian need of this people," he said.

I know some people here have expressed confidence in Dr. Rice , but everything I have seen of this dreadful little shrew of a woman , not only suggests she has lost the plot, but in fact never had it in the first place.

Never mind Condi , maybe you can send someone else to lecture the Saudis on 'Wimmins rights'
Congerlickernotsowerrynice is my old name for her.
Like so much of the US administration she lives in a dream world.
When did the Mid East have democracy ? It's alien to their (Muslim) way of life.
I am no fan of the Islamist revival and the arabs I knew had not progressed beyond tribalism.
You insist on democracy and then get angrey when the popular party win. So you decide to take away your toys and go in the cuboard and sulk.
The US have had their day and it does not seem to havve dawned on them. Bush took his eyes off the ball went off playing oilman and South America went red. Soon California will fall.
Democracy in the Middle East. Just like that Rhodesian said about one man one vote. "What do they (blacks) want with a vote? Can't eat it, can't sleep with it. Can't sell it"

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