There is no better bell-weather of neocon thought than the ravings of Doctor Doom Cheney, and now that the Afghanistan war presents itself in its full intractable glory we can expect much much more. The Keyboard Kommandos and Chicken Hawks of all stripe are revving their engines and Obama has dropped the flag by refusing all the military options he has ben offered. Smart man. The truth is that the generals always think that no objective is unobtainable. Clinton fell into this trap when he asked if the armed forces could capture or kill the head warlord. That lead to "Blackhawk Down". There is a mindset that thinks that our armed forces can do anything they are ordered to do, but doesn't consider the level of support from the political system. Even the military police state that was the Soviet Union could not sustain their war in Afghanistan for more than nine years. Is there any reason to think that Americans would be any more patient?
I am no fan of unqualified adulation of politicians so I am reluctant to call President Obama "brilliant", but he comes damn close in rejecting the open ended counter insurgency policy being pushed on him. It will be tough sell to explain to the American voters why one of our soldiers should die in defense of the hopelessly corrupt Karzai government. Perhaps he will pull our troops back to defendable friendly territory in the North, and keep al Qada off balance using drones and special forces teams. Our "allies" in Afghanistan are warlords every bit as backward and ruthless as the Talaban, and while the Talaban taxes opium passing through their territories, the warlords actually grow and process the poppies. Whoever wins the civil war, the women are screwed. Perhaps they could be our next generation of ethnic restauranteurs that inevitably follow us home from foreign entanglements. Immigration laws should be adjusted to allow the widows and children of Kabul some leeway in escaping that hell hole we helped create.
There is no shame in avoiding a fight you are unwilling or unable to win, but the neocons will bay at the moon over Obama's prudence.
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