From Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria:
Two things are very expensive in international politics, the game-theorist Thomas Schelling once observed: threats when they fail and promises when they succeed. President Bush appears to be headed on a path that could teach him this lesson. Last week he responded to Iran’s decision to resume work on its nuclear program by asserting that “all options are on the table” to stop Iran’s nuclear development. He also implied that were Israel to strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities, the United States would support it. Unfortunately, these are hollow threats, unlikely to have much effect other than to cheapen America’s credibility around the world. (Within hours of Bush’s statement, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder made clear that he would not support any such action against Iran.)
Let’s look at the even more obvious political situation here at home. Iraq, at this point, must not fail. An unraveling of the progress made would be an absolute disaster. Meanwhile, public support for our actions in Iraq are dropping as is support for W in general.
Think making another “all options on the table” comment will help stir additional support for what needs to be accomplished in the war we’re already in?