According to Jim Webb, the United States needs to focus more on East Asia, and specifically China – about which he says a “Munich moment” is “approaching” (not sure what he means by that exactly) – while focusing less on the Middle East. It sounds like Webb’s saying that East Asia’s in our “true strategic interests,” but that the Middle East isn’t.
If so, I’ve gotta disagree with that one. As long as we’re addicted to oil – which we shouldn’t be, of course, and I am 100% for us getting off of the “devil’s excrement,” as some have called it – and as long as the threat of global terrorism emanates from that region, the Middle East will remain vital to our economic and national security interests. There’s just no way around that for the time being. In contrast, I don’t see an imminent threat to U.S. national security coming from East Asia, although certainly North Korea’s nuclear program and potential for it to lash out against South Korea and/or Japan is troubling.
Finally, with regard to Sen. Lugar’s amendments are mostly pointless and redundant, albeit apparently harmless. The fact is, there’s no indication of any desire to place U.S. ground troops in Libya; the U.S. is already mostly in a support role; etc. Honestly, I think Lugar’s just posturing.