Just when I wanted to give John Edwards credit for embarking on a bold policy on terrorism, he has to go and do this. Announcing his plan on confronting global terrorism, Edwards layed out a plan that would, presumably, halt the problem at the source:

The plan Mr. Edwards presented yesterday — which he dubbed “A Strategy to Shut Down Terrorists and Stop Terrorism Before It Starts” — calls for a 10,000-person “Marshall Corps” to deal with issues ranging from worldwide poverty and economic development to clean drinking water and micro-lending. He said investing in those areas would shore up weak nations and help ensure that terrorism does not take root there. That, he said, would allow the country to stop potential terrorists before they even join the ranks.

There are “thousands committed to violence” today, he said, and America needs to use all of its tools to go after them. But he said millions more people are “sitting on the fence” about whether to join those ranks. “We have to offer them a hand to our side instead of a shove to the other side of that fence,” he said.

That’s right, Edwards will withdraw the armed troops from the world, and send out…the Peace Corps.

There are several problems with this plan, which I got into extensively over at my own blog. But focusing on the political here at the Political Derby, I must ask, what the heck is John Edwards thinking?

It’s not that a global service program is a bad idea. We have one, it’s called the Peace Corp. This strikes me as a throw away line on the part of Edwards, one more so intended to appease the sensibilities of the party’s base. This idea might appeal to a few aging boomers, but it isn’t all that practial.

All an opponent needs to do is ask Edwards the following: What happens the first time Al Jazeera releases a grainy video of a “Marshall Corps” worker with a sack over their head? Aid workers have clearly been identified as good targets, so what would guarantee their security while they’re out fighting terrorism?

Cross posted here.