Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Are You Convinced?

The President said tonight (with my thoughts):

We are going to partner, train and transition the fight against the Taliban and al Quada to Afghanis who will know that they are responsible for their security. There will be no blank check, we expect no corruption and will give no help to those that are corrupt. (All fine and good, just how is that going to happen?)

All of this will be accomplished by July 2011 when we will begin withdrawing. (Huh? Thirty thousand in and begun to be turned around in eighteen months with all of the above accomplished? Don’t hold your breath.)

The three point plan:

Pakistan has to step up. We are going to mutually step with them. (No details there. There has been nothing from Pakistan to date on this plan and nothing done by Pakistan that gives any indication that it is going to stick its neck out against the people hiding out in its border areas. This part of the plan is doomed to failure.)

We will provide military protection (this is probably the only doable part of the plan, until the day we start withdrawing, at which point the bad guys will ramp up) for

Civilian security, coupled with money and aid to those that do good, none to the corrupt, which will do the trick. (So we give our money to the warlords that are not aligned with Karzai? That will freeze him and his friends out and make them fall in line?)

That Afghanistan is another Vietnam is a false statement, we were attacked and we have a 43 country coalition. (Which for the most part isn’t participating with money, troops or aid. We weren’t attacked by Iraq either and had a “coalition” of sorts – Obama was opposed to that war – what’s the difference?)

We can’t muddle through with the troops we have there now it wouldn’t train Afghan to take over. (Agreed.)

We won’t stay ten years or forever, that wouldn’t provide incentive for Afghans to step up. (Agreed, but neither will this eighteen month surge.)

In Afghanistan and Iraq we’ve spent one trillion dollars to date – we aren’t going to spend that much but no number was given. (At this point in our hemorrhage of money, I don’t even care.)

We are just like FDR and his generation we fight for the future of all, not for our own gain, we want freedom for the whole world. (We actually kind of do, not that it works. See W.) And more patriotic stuff. And more patriotic stuff.

The women and children have a few year reprieve of sorts. I'm extending my I told you so's from the year stated in the last post to eighteen months.


The Curmudgeon said...

Ye gods, Dave, you sound like Sen. McCain decrying the specific pull-out timetable.

The Taliban have support among Afghans now -- but is it support because it is the only apparent alternative to the corrupt Karzai regime... or because these folks are so crazy they really want what the Taliban stand for? Mr. Obama's plan has a chance IF enough Afghans really DON'T want the Taliban back.

Maybe, as we clear and hold areas with our surge, another option will emerge -- a viable, not-nearly-as-corrupt opposition. If it gets strong enough, we could just withdraw Karzai with us.

As long as you're reading up on all this, you might find Christopher Hitchens' take on this of interest: He says we are making a mistake in ignoring India's interests in Afghanistan and over-promoting our partnership with Pakistan. (The link is to Slate.com, but I read it in this morning's Chicago Sun-Times.)

Dave said...

I'll slide him a few months or a year (which at minimum he's going to take anyway as the eighteen months is totally unrealistic to achieve what he says he wants to achieve) Curmudgeon.

I just don't see Pakistan doing what it needs to do, Karzai and friends doing what they need to do and the warlords playing nice with the money and aid so as to have any kind of viable structure in the short, middle or long term future.

Yes, were all these things to happen a viable opposition might develop. It might replace the current corruption; but, once the money and the protection being drying up - back to what they've been doing for centuries.

I truly hope I'm wrong, though I don't think that I am.