Sunday, September 6


A lot of Conservatives, George Will, chief amongst them, are now arguing that we should pull out of Afghanistan, ceding ground to the Taliban.

I disagree. Killing terrorists very much continues to be in the national security interests of the United States. Can we really afford to allow terrorists to gain strength, to plot and plan against us again?

Obama seems to get the importance of Afghanistan, speaking about 'necessity,' although he never speaks about the war effort. I support him but wish he would speak more about the challenges ahead.


Blogger Jaz said...

I also remember how ridiculous the Left was to GWB over Iraq. They set the standard for an unprecedented lack of general support for a president in war time.

It's not a model for which any American, who considers themselves patriotic, would want to come anywhere close to resembling.

However at what point does that overarching desire and directive have to give way to being for what's right? Granted, 'what's right' is rather nebulous.

What's expedient then. What, at the end of the day, serves American interests the most. I'm not sure what that is exactly for us in Afghanistan.

There was a point where I was fully questioning the mission in Iraq. To my way of thinking, we had won the war when we kicked the ass of the opposing army. The neo-conservative brand of exporting democracy has had mixed results, I think it's fair to say. Yes, democracies generally don't attack one another, but sometimes when given the chance to vote, the people elect terrorists regimes as the Palestinians did. Sometimes a benign puppet dictator like Musharef is better than a duly elected terrorist regime like Hamas.

We're at that questioning point in Afghanistan where it is not clear, to me at least, what it is we're trying to achieve there.

If the only mission is contain al Qaeda, we should be able to that without having our troops in harm's way endlessly getting sniped as the do community outreach and driving over IED's as they move around in between the various bronze age era villages.

This doesn't even have that much to do with Obama, for once.

I'd be asking the same questions if GWB were still in charge. Which reminds me, maybe GWB drew down troops in Afghanistan for a good reason. Maybe he didn't simply "take his eye of the ball" as Obama endlessly claimed during the campaign.

Maybe he realized that perhaps it's an unwinnable proposition.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Alex S. said...

I got to get you to read this book "The Next 100 Years" by George Friedman. Anyway, he says in the book (and it's very true if you think about it), that as far as the War on Terror, America wins as long as the terrorists are unable to unite the Muslim world against the US. This is also why he says (and I agree) that the War on Terror has really already been won, it will just take another couple decades for everyone to realize it. Not one Muslim country has taken up Osama's cause, in fact it's probably gone the other way, and the Muslim world is as splintered as ever. So, our only goal in Afghanistan is to keep the tangos busy and to keep Afghanistan from being a safe base of operations for Al-Qaeda. And in the big picture, Muslim terrorists are not a serious long-term threat to US dominance. Granted they could pull off large attacks on civilians once in a while, but it's not going to change the balance of power in the world. We just have to keep them busy.

The bottom line is, the US economy is still 26% of world GDP (bigger than the next 4 largest economies combined), and the US still controls all of the world's oceans with military power (and therefore all international trade), so those who do not "play ball" with the US eventually crumble (see USSR, 1991). This situation is not going to change in the next 50 to 100 years. Great book, I'll lend it to ya.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Kent said...

Staying on mission in Afghanistan prevents the radicals from claiming victory over another superpower.

They humiliated the former Soviet Union twenty years ago.

The United States can't embolden them to the point that we would even seriously entertain the notion of pulling out.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Jaz said...

You're linking to an opinion piece to make your point?

Whoah... sorry, turned into Chris there for a moment.

I saw Bret Stephens debating Robert Pollock on the Journal Editorial Report on this very topic. I can't seem to find it on YouTube, but to me Pollock came out on top in the exchange.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Kent said...

Yeah, op-ed's aren't real news. I looked for legislation on this issue but I didn't find anything.

So much for the era of transparency, huh?

I like Stephen's point about Afghanistan being the place where terrorists can 'imagine' future attacks. And clearly, if the US pulls out, it won't be hard to spin it as a gigantic victory for the Taliban.

They'll be 2-0 against Superpowers.

We can't leave. We can't give them that victory. We have to stay and kill terrorists. We have to stay and protect Afghans. It's the moral thing to do. It's the national security thing to do.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Jaz said...

Stay, yes. Slowly escalating the amount of troops we have there to only end up pulling out anyway like Vietnam, not so much.

9:34 AM  

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