From the earlier post there seems to be some confusion. No one is saying that John McCain’s service as a Navy pilot shows or suggests that he lacks the grasp of strategy and national interest to be president. What I’m saying is that the available evidence, and there’s a lot of it, shows that McCain is unable to see beyond immediate tactical questions to any larger grasp of strategy. His myopia about the ‘surge’ is simply one example of that. I raise the issue of his Navy pilot service because McCain has based so much of his campaign on the premise that that service gives him a unique insight into foreign affairs. But the strategic sense he lacks is not one you’d get from that kind of service.
Meanwhile TPM Reader RW says that the real issue isn’t so much short-term tactics vs. broader strategy as the military vs. the political prism. But I actually think this a disservice to all the military men and women who’ve got no problem in this department. This is a stereotype people have about career military people that’s seldom been born out by my experience. This is something about McCain, his myopia. He can’t see the big picture or anything else that’s going on in the world except Iraq. And even there he doesn’t want to grapple with what the goal of the surge even was.