Along with economics, one of my major considerations in the upcoming election will be each candidate's foreign policy approach, which, by extension, includes the military.
Military fears 'unknown quantity'
Members of Washington's military and defense establishment are expressing trepidation about Sen. Barack Obama, as the Illinois senator comes closer to winning the Democratic presidential nomination and leads in national polls to become commander in chief. But his backers, including a former Air Force chief of staff, say the rookie senator believes in a strong military, and with it, a larger Army and Marine Corps.
Lawrence Korb, a military analyst at the Center for American Progress and one of a dozen or so national security advisers to the Obama campaign, rebutted the lack-of-experience complaint, saying neither President Bush nor John F. Kennedy could claim an extensive national security background before entering the White House.
But Loren Thompson, who runs the Lexington Institute and stays in touch with defense industry executives, said Mr. Obama is difficult to categorize.
"His views are all over the map depending on whether its nuclear proliferation, energy independence or the global war on terror," he said. "How many liberals say they are going to bomb al Qaeda in Pakistan no matter whether the Pakistanis like it or not? He's much harder to pin down."The Kennedy comparison doesn't quite inspire confidence in me, given his early blunders (though it's better than a Carter comparison, which haunts me). But I think the final selection reveals the real mystery of what Obama would do. He is indeed hard to pin down.