Thursday, October 01, 2009

Obama and the Afghan Quagmire

By Ivan Eland
October 1, 2009

Barack Obama does seem to have much better instincts in foreign policy than George W. Bush. But lest that be seen as damning by faint praise, let’s just say that Obama, like the Washington Redskins football team, is moving the ball down the field but needs to get it over the goal line more often.

Read on.


Dean Taylor said...

"Let’s hope they can sustain their resistance to the military onslaught here at home in order to end the armed escalation in Afghanistan and eventually reverse course there. Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership have little choice but to follow their instincts; in a democracy, further accelerating a war that is unpopular at home is political suicide."

Quite. Yet DC's Ivy League inebriates--i.e., drunk on Power--prescind from both the reasonable and the sane in setting "policy."

Further, as at the time of the Tet Offensive, when Milhous established 500,000 troops on the ground in Viet Nam, Obama has a substantial margin of political and "moral" safety without suffering compunction for his own "rambunctious" behaviour regarding life and limb--the life and limb of others, of course.

And, barring the utility of Milhous' buffer of half a million personnel in South Viet Nam, there is lying to fall back upon. To wit:

The French colonial incursion into [Viet Nam]...met with defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, and US engagement resumed imperial aggression—but not before the Geneva Accords mandating a free election had been quashed by US/Diem militaristic aggression. The “they” who asked us to be there amounted to elitist (read: financially viable) land-owning beneficiaries of French patronage, politically connected to the corrupt puppet state.

We'll always find a "they" who, we will claim, want us to be there--the "there" now occurring somewhere along the Durand Line...

Empire: through a glass, darkly

JGR said...

I Find it intresting that you point out the 500,000 troop strength. The comparison to current troop levels can not be seen as equal in any way. The lack of sufficient strength on the ground is risky irregardless of the effects of politics; both external and internal. The considering of sufficient forces in extremly inhospitable terrian is paramount to any force trying to impose it's own presence. This is important even before one condsiders the politics and objects of the campaign. Furthermore, the failure of Afghanistan is political. This country is incapable of accepting democratic rule. A more suitable model such as the Greek city states would have been more efficient. The insurgency there has risen more because of our lack of producing results. I have been in events where the Father who lost his son to US forces forgave. Intel from the region did not stop either. We got continued help. But when civilians become wounded, any one will come to grasp at some point if happen for a reason. But no one will except it for no reason. Lack of true progress is our greatest enemy. Now the Taliban have a breeding ground to return. Today, a significant military threat persist. And geo politics are having big implications for the region. I found the article very arrogant and full of the same inexpirience and vanity that started these events. Ultimatly war can not bring peace, it is a tool that is inevitable. To not aknowledge this is to ignore humanity and it's true nature. Ultimately, if something is not done on the ground, then the risk to those troops will increase. It is not in America's control as to the actions and timing of rebel commanders. The failure of a presence in that region may also serve to embolden areas of weak American presance. At some point, someone will test our weaknesses. Not because they need some thing but simple because they can.