Presidential Hopefuls on U.S. Security

Matthew Harwood

For more on the speech from the Obama camp, click here.

Over at the Washington Post, terrorism and national security experts responded to his speech.

Highlights include this remark from Teresita C. Schaffer, Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies' South Asia program and former U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka:

His statement that we would be willing to act if President Musharraf isn't, is not dramatically different from the current administration's attitude. Most members of the administration don't like to talk about this, and look on it as an absolute last resort.

Michael Scheuer, the founder of the CIA's Bin Laden Unit, had stinging words regarding Obama's speech:

Senator Obama must have left a couple zeroes off his plan for reinforcements. Two brigades -- which is about 6,000 men -- will not make a lick of difference in Afghanistan, which is a country the size of Texas, with the highest mountains on earth, a hostile population, and a growing Islamist insurgency. If Obama starts talking about 100 brigades -- about 300,000 men -- then the public might be able to assume he means business. Otherwise, he is just blowing smoke.

Scheuer broadened his criticism to include all presidential candidates who say the U.S. military option has not worked. He said U.S. military power has been used "most daintily" in Afghanistan and Iraq and that if this is the best the U.S. military can do, then the U.S. public has been swindled in the amount of taxes they paid to the armed forces over the past 25 years.

For even more coverage of Obama's speech, listen to this report from NPR's All Things Considered.



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