Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Only A Week,

but it looks like the Obama administration is making some significant errors, which may ultimately derail the success of his first-term. Incrementalism, as expressed by an $ 800 billion economic stimulus package, will not help enough people get work. Compromise with a weak Republican minority will not shield Obama from blame if the stimulus fails. He should just go all-in, if this is what he believes in, and forget the Republicans. Krugman writes:
Whatever the explanation, the Obama plan just doesn’t look adequate to the economy’s need. To be sure, a third of a loaf is better than none. But right now we seem to be facing two major economic gaps: the gap between the economy’s potential and its likely performance, and the gap between Mr. Obama’s stern economic rhetoric and his somewhat disappointing economic plan.
On the flip side, Obama has discarded incrementalism in Afghanistan. Troop strength is set to increase by 30,000 in the "Graveyard of Empires", with more probably coming later. In conjunction with this, are the repeated missile strikes into Pakistan. A good number of people are getting killed in these strikes, with seemingly little operational damage being done to the leadership of the Pashtun-oriented resistance. Juan Cole writes, regarding Pakistan :
If he thinks the drone attacks on FATA are a painless way to signal to the world that he is no wimp, he may find, as Lyndon Johnson did, that such military operations take on a momentum of their own, and produce popular discontents that can prove deadly to the military mission.

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