Contra Costa Times Forum Obama's Afghan strategy
Sunday Forum: Times readers don't offer support for Obama's Afghan strategy
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Contra Costa Times
Posted: 12/13/2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Obama in trap
President Barack Obama has fallen into the trap of trying to please all shades of domestic opinion on his Afghan war strategy. Obama gave Gen. Stanley McChrystal most of the additional troops he sought, but also announced a probable timeline for our troops' presence there. Obama has indicated more action will be focused on Pakistan and promised that country a more constructive partnership.
Obama also sought a more active role by India in Afghanistan, which nullifies his promises to Pakistan as Pakistan doesn't want to see Indians right across its throat at any cost.
The timetable for troop presence is a major negative. The Taliban have updated milestone dates on their Operation Terror Management Plan by now and alerted commanders to wait until then for their next big move.
Pakistan, too, is unlikely to sever links with the Taliban, now that it knows American troops are there for a short haul.
On the basis of previous Afghanistan invasions by foreign forces, the prognosis is bleak. If that proves true, Obama's strategy could turn out to be nothing more than the old trick used in Vietnam: "Declare victory and run."
What do I think about President Barack Obama's strategy for Afghanistan? Brilliant! I played a little poker, you know, the idea of their "waiting us out" is brilliant!
We have no choice! President George Bush dealt the hand when he moved troops out of the region into Iraq, "a war of choice." It's a decision that may, someday, live in infamy.
What do I think will happen to Pakistan and its nuclear bombs if we pull out now? How many 12/7s and 9/11s do we need to wonder? If we fail to secure that region now we will have to go later with a million soldiers, or about that many, to control both Pakistan and Afghanistan and keep a nuclear 9/11 from the West Coast. Or will we talk them down then, but not now?
Michael F. Sarabia