And, as Petraeus is fond of saying, the enemy gets a vote in U.S. strategy. Will al-Qaeda, the Taliban or Iraqi insurgents see it in their interest to go on the attack against Americans to try to influence the campaign and November's elections? If so, in what direction?
Would Iran welcome a newly elected President Obama with a nuclear enrichment freeze or -- more likely -- by testing him by moving identifiable Iranian militia units into Basra province on a large scale, as some Persian Gulf Arab states may fear? Or if it is President McCain, will the ayatollahs show something like the Reagan reflex? After all, they greeted the election of a conservative hard-liner in 1980 by releasing U.S. hostages.
-- Jim Hoagland, Washington Post April 13, 2008