AMERICAN DITHERING EMBOLDENS JIHADISTS
Candidate Barack Obama correctly argued that strategically Afghanistan cannot be severed from Pakistan. At first President Barack Obama acted as if he meant it. He put General Stanley McCrystal in charge, asked to devise a strategy for victory and in the meantime increased the number of troops available to the new man. His envoy went to Pakistan to convince the Bhutto government to move against the Taliban on the Pakistani side of the border. Improved Pakistani cooperation led to the elimination of a number of Taliban commander. Ramadan was a peaceful month in Pakistan. The American/Pakistani cooperation seemed to be bearing fruit but not in Afghanistan.
To do the job in Afghanistan, Gen. McCrystal needed even more troops. Busy with health care Obama sought to delay making a decision. Sec. Gates obliged him by putting the McCrystal report on ice while American soldiers were getting killed. Somebody decided to leak the report. The ice melted an an internal battle royale began between McCrystal and Biden with Obama playing Hamlet.
Biden and company argued that Pakistan was no longer in danger, the Jihadis left Afganitan and that the imperfect elections provide Washington with a perfect justification to cut Karzai lose and return the country to the Taliban provided Mullah Omar promises to end his relationship with Al Qaeda.
Forget the betrayal of the Afghani women, the behavior of the emboldened Taliban in Afghanistan demonstrates the deficiency of such a game plan. It made clear that the fall of the Afghani domino is bound to have serious consequences in nuclear armed Pakistan. Moreover, there is no more way to differentiate between the Taliban, Arab, Chechen and Wiegur jihadists and Al Qaeda than there was in differentiating between the Viet Cong and North Vietnam. The only difference is that the Vietnamese were not about to follow Americans home while militant Muslims have already demonstrated that they will do precisely that. After all, leaving would prove that Bin Laden is right. Jihadis can replicate the achievements of their glorious ancestors. All they need is patience.
It is bad enough to have to fight emboldened Jihadists in hellhole like Afghanistan, American soldiers and commanders should not be forced to do so without the full backing of their commander in chief.
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G. M. Roper - 10/12/2009
Waffling in the face of a determined enemy does nothing to make the enemy hesitate. I hate to say this, because President Bush and his Generals didn't do all that great in Afghanistan, but from the moment that General McChrystal asked for additional troops through all of Obama's waffling, the blood of American Troops is on Obama's hands.