No, not that one.
Now that I have your attention, though, I think it best to remind everyone that carping at President Obama for his announcement of an American pullout from Afghanistan by 2014 is simply a waste of time. No American president of either party would have been able to stay longer, because Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants us out and wants a deal with the Talibs.
That what is good for Karzai is terrible for his and our country matters nothing to him.
Whether we like it or not, a new phase in the battele with the Taliban is soon to begin: basically a proxy war that pits the Pakistani ISI against us. The Afghans, once again, our caught in the middle. While elitist and posers enjoy warbling about Afghanistan resisting all foreign occupiers throughout its history, they tend to ignore that, for the most part, Afghans have never been able to unite, either. Thus, while foreign troops come and go, foreign influence is eternal there.
We are headed for a 21st Century version of the Great Game, with the U.S. and India on one side (against the Talibs), Pakistan and Communist China on the other (with the Talibs and Karzai), and Russia eagerly trying to leverage both of us.
We will need to make sure the anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan triumph (simplistically, the non-Pashtuns; more accurately, the tenuous coalition that controls the Afghan Parliament), and remind everyone that the Taliban and al Qaeda are still joined at the hip (especially the Russians, who tend to let their Anti-American ADHD get in the way of maneuvering against the allies of Chechnya’s rebels).
So, rather than rip President Obama for choosing the inevitable withdrawal, we should instead rip hm for his refusal to say anything about how to help Afghanistan defeat the Taliban. He seems to think that just handing over the reigns will answer the mail – meaning he either doesn’t realize Karzai’s actual intentions, or he just doesn’t care.
That is the real problem with Obama’s policy of Afghanistan.
Cross-posted to Bearing Drift