Over the last two weeks I have seen a steady stream of articles and reports via the various media trying to essentially change the face of the “enemy” we fight in Afghanistan. In 2001 the whole world was “with” the USA in taking out the terrible Taliban regime in Afghanistan that had given a place and cover to Benny Laden and his gang to formulate the attack on the World Trade Center. We took the regime out through a coalition of the “willing” including war lords, thugs, and other unsavory characters. And the world applauded the action.
Now the Taliban seems to have the upper hand in the ongoing war in Afghanistan and threatens to once more takeover control of the country. Our commander on the scene says he needs at least 50,000 more troops to prevent this. President Obama is facing powerful opposition in his own party to sending more troops. The probable result will be to send more troops but fewer than requested, the classic “half a cake” to each side in the debate.
But with less than 50,000 more troops we will most likely be unable to prevent the Taliban from returning to power. What to do, what to do? Well here is the answer, erase the bad boy image from the Taliban in Afghanistan and make someone else the “enemy.” So now we focus on Benny Laden and his gang, who are reportedly now in Pakistan, and his protectors there, the Taliban in Pakistan. However, we have no intention of going into Pakistan, in spite of what President Obama said during the election (he proposed chasing the bad guys into Pakistan itself), so we go to a strategy of removing the Al Queda boys in Afghanistan, while leaving the “good” Taliban there alone. We will paint the “bad” Taliban in Pakistan and the Al Queda boys there as the main enemy, since we cannot attack them directly. Result, we comply with Obama’s campaign promise to pursue Al Queda, but with fewer troops.
Again, a classic policy by committee that promises to come up a loser in all cases. Do we ever learn?