Monday, December 8, 2008

Obama's Afghan Dilemma

Obama's Afghan Dilemma by Robert Dreyfuss on

Some of this is kinda dreamy stuff about how Obama won't do what he's been saying he'll do. But its still and interesting read, and this part really caught my eye.

"What began as a punitive raid aimed at beheading Al Qaeda and chastising its Afghan household staff has somehow morphed--with no real discussion or debate--into a prolonged effort to pacify Afghanistan and transform its society," says Freeman. "This moving of the goal posts gratified neoconservatives and liberal interventionists alike. Our new purpose became giving Afghanistan a centrally directed state--something it had never had. We now fight to exclude reactionary Muslims from a role in governing the new Afghanistan." Freeman suggests that this is an untenable goal, and that it is time to co-opt local authorities and enlist regional allies in search of a settlement.
This is from 'Chas Freeman, president of the Middle East Policy Council and a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia.'

This is what's always struck me about our war in Afghanistan. What are we doing there? The original bit about going after Bin Laden I understood. And if the Taliban was standing with Bin Laden and protecting him, even that expansion of the effort made at least some sense.

But, what the heck are we doing there seven years later? We should have gotten out ages ago. We could have left behind the message saying if the Afghanis let groups that would attack us reform there, then we'd be back (in our best Schwarznegger voice). But what in the heck are we doing there with all these troops that Obama now wants to 'surge'?

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