Victory at Sea

Robert Kaplan:

Stanley Weeks is a Washington-based naval and defense-policy analyst for a Fortune 500 commercial consulting company. Over the course of his career, he has done everything from mentoring the new Albanian navy to advising U.S. combatant commanders about how to defend against missiles. When I spoke to him in his office in McLean, Virginia, he told me about other possibilities for Admiral Mullen’s 1,000-ship fleet-in-being. “Boots-on-the-ground in most cases is a loser,” Weeks said. “On land, we’re not playing to our advantage, because there is an endless demographic supply of young male religious fanatics.” He emphasized that naval operations can lower America’s profile, since they attract less attention than Army operations, making our military less vulnerable to media attacks—and therefore also making it easier to carry out operations that might otherwise become lightning rods for criticism.


1980 Redux

More evidence that the Obama campaign is seeing this election as 1980 in reverse:

“Democrats should take a deep breath and realize that there are a group of voters who won’t make up their mind about a candidate until deep in the fall,” said David Plouffe, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager. “And there are 18 states that are battlegrounds for a reason, and they’ll be decided by 2 to 4 points. I don’t care about national polls.”

Others, though, have the whiff of panic about them.