Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oops. He is even going to lose Crazy Rich's vote.

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has decided to begin publicly walking away from what it once touted as key deadlines in the war in Afghanistan in an effort to de-emphasize President Barack Obama's pledge that he'd begin withdrawing U.S. forces in July 2011, administration and military officials have told McClatchy Newspapers.
The new policy will be on display next week during a conference of NATO countries in Lisbon, Portugal, where the administration hopes to introduce a timeline that calls for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan by 2014, the year when Afghan President Hamid Karzai once said Afghan troops could provide their own security, three senior officials told McClatchy, along with others speaking anonymously as a matter of policy.


Hags said...

The Afghan war may be a topic on which the left side of the Dems finds common ground with the right side of the Reps. The left side thinks all wars are failures (how French) but many on the right side have a strong sense that nation building is extremely costly, and not just in terms of money.

Personally, I think it would be tragic to see the aftermath of a US withdrawal in terms of the subjugation of women. However, the prospect for successful nation building in Afghanistan seems so remote to me that I believe we should substantially withdraw and leave the protection of our interests to our Special Forces and the CIA.

I believe that it is not our place to impose our cultural values on the disparate Afghan peoples. I do think we need to protect our interests and our citizens from terrorists, but if you believe the oft quoted stat that there are but 50 al Qaeda left in Afghanistan then we should leave it up to a small and lethal force to work with the local war lords to continue the pursuit. That is how we brought down the Russians.

The cost of our current strategy is simply too high. Our goal should not be to build their nation in our image. Our goal should be to protect our nation.

All the best,


Baxter said...

Wow. Hags & I are in near agreement on this one.

I have nothing against nation building per se. However, I think it is pretty much hopeless in Afghanistan. I'll refer you to my original proposal: carve up the country into it's natural ethnic/linguistic regions and give the pieces to the appropriate neighboring states. The country from which 911 was launched will be off the map. Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Iran will all grow. The Iranian piece would be quite a negotiating tool, wouldn't it? Lets call it a Wilsonian approach to the 21st century.

In the near future - particularly concerning nuclear proliferation - we need to recognize that we can do an incredible amount of damage to a nation if need be. That is our genuine threat. We do not necessarily need to occupy a nation after delivering shock and awe. I would make it clear to the North Koreans and Iranians that they do not need to worry about being occupied - only leveled. I've said it before; if Iran gets the bomb, it is only a matter of time until Hamas/Hezbollah delivers one to Times Square.

Jim G. said...

The decision to remain in Afghanistan is indeed foolish, costly in blood, treasure and votes. I believe there must be a great deal of political and (military) economic pressure to remain there. Karzai is obviously not trust worthy.

Why is it I have never seen the words of Fareed Zakaria ( I sent you the email last week) in your blog?


Jim G. said...

Because you won't sign up for an account and post for youself.