Sunday, November 1, 2009
Wars near and far...past, present and future
Our man in Kabul...
Not good for Afghanistan, not good for us: The New York Times reports that “Afghanistan’s last presidential challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, dropped out of the race on Sunday, accusing the government of profound corruption and electoral fraud even as the Obama administration rallied around President Hamid Karzai.” In the words of a former SecDef, "As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time." I suppose the same thing can be said about allies.
Next stop, the Khyber Pass?
Add Afghanistan: We’re eight years into the post-9/11 conflict and while every casualty is a huge loss for us and our allies, the numbers of dead and wounded are nowhere near what we experienced during our time in Vietnam. Yet the ongoing and increasingly unpopular war is causing some to draw parallels between the two conflicts. The question will be answered in the next few weeks as President Barack Obama decides to escalate or not in Afghanistan. His administration – and legacy – will hang in the balance.
Final add Afghanistan: It’s my guess that the American people would be more supportive of adding troops if they knew the effective job the U.S. and its allies were doing in that far-flung corner of the world. There has been much debate as to whether counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism is the right approach in fighting the Taliban. “The fact is that U.S. forces are doing both missions every day and night -- and indeed are becoming increasingly effective at each one,” writes David Ignatius over at the Washington Post. “Even as U.S. forces show a gentler side with their new stress on people-friendly counterinsurgency, they continue to conduct devastating attacks on the enemy. It's this mix of hard and soft that's the essence of the U.S. battle plan here, but this reality is not well understood back in America.” Let’s hope some key people clue in…soon.
Why is this man smiling?
So when do we believe Iran? “Iran said Monday it has not rejected a U.N.-backed plan aimed at limiting the country's ability to make nuclear weapons as it called for a technical panel to review its terms,” according to an AP story today. Anyone interested in some Florida swampland?
Glorious Leader - in all his glory...
Another part of the Axis (of Evil) heard from: Once again, Kim Jong Il & Co. is threatening. “North Korea pressed the United States to accept its demand for direct talks on the communist regime's nuclear program, warning Monday that Pyongyang ‘will go our own way’ unless Washington agrees.”
Speaking of the never-ending war on evildoers: If you want to see what’s taking place in the “War On Terror,” Rantburg.com is a great place to start.