The US Secretary of State's recent Chatham House Lecture is quite remarkable for several reasons. For starters, although Ms. Rice puts on her academic hat, she makes some rather surprising assertions. Boldly going back in history to the age of Enlightenment, where no member of the Bush administration has been before, she discovers the UK and the US to be very "similar" countries. Secondly, she talks about liberal democracies and liberalism with a capital 'L', referring not to the Democratic Party, but rather to classical liberalism as it is still widely referred to in Europe. By this, I am very pleasantly surprised! But then, she goes on to spoil the favourable impression by revealing some of her understanding of aforementioned democracies, quoting Thomas Leviathan Hobbes as an eminent theoretician of liberalism. Yikes!
Last, but not least, she admits to having made thousands of tactical errors in Iraq, while brazenly maintaining of course that the strategic decision will, in retrospect, be validated. Be that as it may - I am afraid that there remains an indisputable nexus between the strategic and the tactical level to the extend that tactical errors, committed in their thousands, will put even the best of strategies at risk. Summing up, I would have expected a less dilettantic address from this particular Secretary of State.