In fairness to Bush

There’s been lots of criticism of the Bush Administration for having turned Afghanistan back to rule by warlords and apparently planning to let Iraq fall under the domination of the mullahs. This strikes me as unfair.

During the campaign, Bush criticized the Clinton Administration for engaging in “nation-building” and promised, if elected, not to waste American tax dollars on any such futility. Accordingly, he has made no real effort to build a workable nation in Afghanistan, and seemingly will extend the same practice of salutary neglect to the even graver nation-building task in Iraq.

Surely it can’t be right to criticize a politician for keeping his promises.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com