Riverboat John McCain …

… is gambling that the press won’t say that he’s adopted Barack Obama’s strategy: withdraw troops from Iraq in order to increase force levels in Afghanistan.

… is gambling that no one in the press will have the backbone to say the obvious: that McCain’s new strategy &#8212 reduce troop levels in Iraq to increase them in Afghanistan &#8212 is borrowed from Barack Obama. I think that’s a pretty good bet.

And it’s virtually a sure thing that McCain’s reversal of position on where it is that we need more troops won’t be called a “flip-flop.”

In the meantime, if you want to see how a grown-up thinks and speaks about keeping the nation safe, take a look at Obama’s speech today.

Update I can’t see how anyone can say that the McCain and Obama positions are “converging,” though. How fast we get out of Iraq is a superficial issue. The core issue is whether to get out of Iraq. McCain is fully on board with the imperialist program: permanent bases, oil concessions, a huge embassy staff to meddle in Iraqi politics, the whole nine yards. That’s what “100 years” means. Obama wants us out.

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