published Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Obama administration offers risky strategy in Afghanistan

There is little we would like more than for peace and stability to reign in Afghanistan and for the U.S. military to be able to end combat operations there immediately. But that has to be guided not by wishful thinking but by conditions on the ground.

Unfortunately, there are strong indications that the Taliban -- the radical Muslims in Afghanistan who harbored al-Qaida terrorists prior to the 9/11 attacks on America -- are seeking to regain control of that country, and that they will intensify efforts to take power if U.S. forces leave.

That is a horrible prospect for the Afghan people, who suffered under Taliban brutality until the United States led the effort to remove the Taliban from power after 9/11.

But the Taliban threatens our country, too. Taliban rule in Afghanistan poses the possibility of al-Qaida again finding safe haven there and plotting more terrorist attacks against us.

That raises big doubts about the Obama administration's decision to speed the end of the United States' combat role in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says our troops' role will change from combat to the training of Afghan forces by late 2013, earlier than previous estimates.

That is worrisome because of indications from U.S. intelligence sources that hard-won progress toward stability and security in Afghanistan could be in jeopardy.

We don't want to keep U.S. forces in Afghanistan any longer than necessary. But the administration shouldn't make politically popular decisions today that may have long-term negative consequences.

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A politically popular decision with you would be to keep up the occupation.

That would have long-term negative consequences.

Here's what it took to kill Osama Bin Laden. A team of Seals. While he was hiding in one of our putative allies.

What does that tell you? That whole invasion was a waste!

February 3, 2012 at 12:42 a.m.
EaTn said...

We should have learned lessons from the Soviet downfall due partly to their lengthy stay in Afghanistan and our own extended occupation in Vietnam. Hopefully we have learned how to eliminate specific foreign terrorists threats without sending in thousands of ground troops.

February 3, 2012 at 8:06 a.m.
librul said...

Exactly correct, happy. bin Laden played the pentagon like a violin and it has cost a million Iraqi lives, ten thousand American lives, a trillion dollars, our national respect in the world, and put our economy in the dumper. If President Obama said we were in it for the long haul, these journalistic fleas would be ranting that he should be trying to get us out now because the resources wuld be better spent in our economic recovery (which the Rethugs have been undercutting for nearly four years already.)

February 3, 2012 at 8:58 a.m.
Plato said...

"Unfortunately, there are strong indications that the Taliban -- the radical Muslims in Afghanistan who harbored al-Qaida terrorists prior to the 9/11 attacks on America -- are seeking to regain control of that country, and that they will intensify efforts to take power if U.S. forces leave."

Ya think? OTOH if we just keep our troops in there a few more years all the Taliban would just disappear into oblivion, never to be seen again.

BTW anyone checked with China yet to see if they are willing to loan us an extra trillion or so?

Brilliant editorial!

February 3, 2012 at 12:29 p.m.

Yep, the Taliban would completely disappear...wait, wait, they're in Pakistan now? Iran? Even China?

February 3, 2012 at 6:22 p.m.
nucanuck said...

A big part of America's decline can be traced to unproductive military spending that does nothing to develope the US or create jobs...just dead expense with no upside.

Our vast foreign military adventures are an anacronism left over from the cold war.

February 3, 2012 at 11:19 p.m.
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