Thursday, November 11, 2010


So here we go, the deadline for the Afghan pullout is now more ‘flexible.’ The part of me that is a war fighter knows that this is the correct, most effective way to go. You can’t beat an ‘enemy’ especially the kind we’re fighting in the Afghan, if they know you’re outta there on a date certain. All they have to do is hold on ‘till we’re gone, which we will be eventually. But just as an aside, the British had an open-ended commitment there and that didn’t work out.

But the peace loving part, or, not so much the ‘peace loving’ part, but the ‘realistic’ part says given Karzai, the nature of the Taliban and the Afghan people, the nature of our own people, the debt crisis here, our inability to deal with the clearly documented corruption in our own military contracting and aid systems, we haven’t got much of a chance of ‘winning’ which by the way, has not yet been defined.

The conventional wisdom says we can’t just leave, that’ll give us a credibility problem [How about if we stay and don’t get anywhere. Will that give us a credibility problem too?] and need to save face, so if this ‘flexible’ exit date is a bargaining position, all well and good. But if it’s for real and I fear that it is, the best thing we can do is define victory, declare it soon, save lives, take our money back and spend it here on education, infrastructure and clean energy industries. Unfortunately, much as I favor a both/and approach, winning and taking care of things here, the Afghan situation seems to be an either/or situation. Either we spend our blood and treasure there or here.

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