THE US war in Iraq has strengthened its strategic position, especially in terms of key alliances, and the only way this could be reversed would be if it lost the will to continue the struggle and abandoned Iraq in defeat and disarray.
Surely the author of this sentence is on the ganja, you might say. Something a little weird in the coffee? It goes against every aspect of conventional wisdom.
But the author of this thesis, stated only marginally less boldly, is one of the US's most brilliant strategic analysts. Mike Green holds the Japan chair at Washington's Centre for Strategic and International Studies and was for several years the Asia director at the National Security Council. He is also one of America's foremost experts on Japan and northeast Asia generally.
His thesis, applied strictly to the US position in Asia, is correct.
Assuming we don't score on our own goal and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq, of course.
And given the election of pro-American leaders in recent years in Germany, France, and Italy, I don't think we can write off Europe. Victory will heal a lot of wounds. And by our sheer power and influence, some wounds will never heal completely. Some will always resent us or worry about the impact of what we do.
We can write off our college history department faculties, of course. They've already written the story and nothing can change their negative assessment of President Bush.