« China's Old Guard Reformers? | Main | Subverting Democracy in Iraq? »

February 15, 2006

Can a House Divided Win the GWOT?

James Q. Wilson has a brilliant essay in the inaugural edition of the OpinionJournal Federation. (The Federation is an alliance of center-right opinion magazines and blogs organized by the WSJ's Opinion Journal.)

Wilson's essay, reprinted from the February edition of Commentary, is an attempt to analyze dispassionately the extent of political polarization in the US and place these disagreements within an historical context. He concludes that today's US politics is more highly polarized than at any times since the first half of the 19th Century. While he does not attempt to explain the causes of this development, he does observe that it has a negative effect upon the world's only superpower's ability to defend its strategic interests in a dangerous world:

Denmark or Luxembourg can afford to exhibit domestic anguish and uncertainty over military policy; the United States cannot. A divided America encourages our enemies, disheartens our allies, and saps our resolve--potentially to fatal effect. What Gen. Giap of North Vietnam once said of us is even truer today: America cannot be defeated on the battlefield, but it can be defeated at home. Polarization is a force that can defeat us.

Highly recommended.

February 15, 2006 at 02:51 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Can a House Divided Win the GWOT?:


Check out Split: A Divided America (non-partisan feature film)

DVD available here:

Posted by: splitdocDOTcom | Sep 9, 2008 6:21:07 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.