Obama Stops at Cliff, Peeks Over Edge, and Decides to Shift Afghan Strategy
Finally, some semblance of rationale is beginning to emerge within U.S. foreign policy! The New York Times is reporting that:
President Obama’s national security team is moving to reframe its war strategy by emphasizing the campaign against Al Qaeda in Pakistan while arguing that the Taliban in Afghanistan do not pose a direct threat to the United States, officials said Wednesday.
It appears the shift will nullify, at least in part, Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s request for 40,000 additional troops.
The Obama administration is reportedly split over this purported policy shift:
While Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has argued for months against increasing troops in Afghanistan because Pakistan was the greater priority, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates have both warned that the Taliban remain linked to Al Qaeda and would give their fighters havens again if the Taliban regained control of all or large parts of Afghanistan, making it a mistake to think of them as separate problems.
Fortunately, Obama appears to be listening to his Vice President.
There is one granddaddy of false assumptions reigning amongst the neo-con set — that being that a foreign occupation somehow makes an occupier safer. This fallacy, when acted upon, financially bankrupts nations — as we are now discovering. The strongest countries are, and always will be, the ones most financially secure. Over the last eight years our financial stability has precipitated into a frightening place. THAT threatens America’s security like no other. How will the United States guarantee its own national security when it eventually defaults on its staggering debt obligations (largely created by an effort to occupy the world), and when China no longer cares to write another blank check? There is already a concerted effort underway to minimize the world’s dependency on the ever-declining American dollar. China plans to diversify away from U.S. assets (Treasuries) and into other currencies (including Euros). That means our cheap and ever-accessible foreign credit line will become a thing of the past.
We, as a country, need to withdraw our troops — stop the fiscal hemorrhaging — and proceed to get our financial house in order.
Apart from the gravity of our financial situation, it is in our country’s foreign strategic interests to cease operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. When a country militarily occupies another people, its very presence ensures the occupied’s resolve for resistance. And unless those being occupied happen to have a bald headed, bespectacled leader by the name of Mohandas Gandhi, they will most certainly resort to guerrilla warfare. How else could a poor resistance movement make a meaningful dint in the armor of a powerful occupier? This means ‘terrorism’.
We are essentially borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars in what is quickly becoming unmanageable debt trying to occupy a third world country — all to keep a small band of terrorists hiding in the Pakistani hills from returning there and setting up camp. Well, who ever said they wanted to leave the hills of Pakistan? Would their return to Afghanistan somehow make them more dangerous to us then their remaining in the hills of Pakistan?
Our attempts at occupying these countries is paramount to building them terrorist factories to churn out new angry, desperate, anti-American extremists who would have likely remained law-abiding civilians, had we not killed their loved ones, and become their occupiers. It is misguided, thickheaded policy to occupy a country on the grounds of security, because it ensures the very opposite.
The Republican talking points this week will surely emphasize the words ‘winning’ and ‘losing’. Make no mistake about it, we’re neither winning nor losing a war over there. We’re fiscally self-destructing, while simultaneously turning generations of people against us. Osama bin Laden must be sitting up there in the Pakistani hills, toking off his Hookah pipe, laughing himself to sleep at night, thinking about how he — this fanatical, deranged, lunatic and his small band of hoodlums — single-handedly, lured the most powerful country in the world off a financial cliff.
Fortunately, it appears that Obama is beginning to see the futility in our military presence there. Let us hope that he continues to turn a deaf ear to some of the fear-mongering neo-babble escalating around him, and gets us the hell out of there.