The ever zealous Friedman states , " There is another important way in which the global guerrilla analogy is apt. STRATFOR has long held that Islamist-fueled transnational terrorism does not represent a strategic, existential threat to the United States. While acts of transnational terrorism target civilians, they are not attacks -- have not been and are not evolving into attacks -- that endanger the territorial integrity of the United States or the way of life of the American people. They are dangerous and must be defended against, but transnational terrorism is and remains a tactical problem that for nearly a decade has been treated as if it were the pre-eminent strategic threat to the United States ."
He adds , " Nietzsche wrote that, " The most fundamental form of human stupidity is forgetting what we were trying to do in the first place.' The stated U.S. goal in Afghanistan was the destruction of Al-Qa'ida. While Al-Qa'ida as it existed in 2001 has certainly been disrupted and degraded, Al-Qa'ida's evolution and migration means that disrupting and degrading it -- to say nothing of destroying it -- can no longer be achieved by waging a war in Afghanistan. The guerrilla does not rely on a single piece of real estate (in this case Afghanistan) but rather on his ability to move seamlessly across terrain to evade decisive combat in any specific location. Islamist-fueled transnational terrorism is not centered on Afghanistan and does not need Afghanistan, so no matter how successful that war might be, it would make little difference in the larger fight against transnational jihadism. "
Prior to committing an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, Obama failed to request an NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) on the war. Melvin A. Goodman states, "Either President Obama does not believe that the CIA and the intelligence community have the resources to provide useful insight into these matters, or he realizes that the findings of such an assessment would not be helpful to the policy he has already decided to pursue."
This just in, failures in vetting, training and supervising Defense Department private security contractors are putting U.S. and coalition troops as well as Afghan civilians at risk and unwittingly aiding Afghan militants by hiring security contractors provided by the Taliban and by warlords, warns a new report released last week by the Senate Armed Services Committee. You may want to read that sentence again and just let it sink in.
The report - "Inquiry into the Role and Oversight of Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan" - resulted from an in- depth year-long process. The committee said the report "provides a detailed critical assessment of the role of private security contractors in Afghanistan" and "reveals the threat that security contractors operating without adequate U.S. government supervision can pose to the mission in Afghanistan.
Lord, love a duck, is there any part of this war that is going right?
Recently, the Obama administration approved direct negotiations with the Taliban, a change in position. Isn't that wonderful? It offers a glimmer of hope to Americans who are still concerned about this war. Unfortunately, there is a slight problem. All of this is coming from the American/Afghan side. The Taliban leaders, the ones who actually make the decisions, are not interested. Their position is that there will be no talks until the NATO forces leave. Negotiations with the Taliban are a matter of smoke and mirrors providing only false hope. Plain and simple, they are winning. The Taliban prefer peace on their terms.
Friedman sums it up perfectly. " Thus far, the United States has chosen to carry on fighting the war in Afghanistan. As Al-Qa'ida has fled Afghanistan, the overall political goal for the United States in the country has evolved to include the creation of a democratic and uncorrupt Afghanistan. It is not clear that anyone knows how to do this, particularly given that most Afghans consider the ruling government of President Hamid Karzai -- with which the United States is allied -- as the heart of the corruption problem, and beyond Kabul most Afghans do not regard their way of making political and social arrangements to be corrupt. "
Which is a polite way of saying, in their world, Afghans regard corruption as a way of life. Enough said about this Martian world.
Mr. President, get our troops out of there.