Dec 8, 2009

Obama's " Exit" Strategy

We all knew Obama would be less than adequate when it came to the military and foreign affairs, but when you take your sweet time to try and get it right, you shouldn't have to rely on others to interpret the backlash and cleaning up the mess.

In his West Point speech, President Obama laid out an exit strategy for Afghanistan, setting July 2011 as the date on which troops will begin withdrawing. The president, through Robert Gibbs, later described this date as "locked in," "etched in stone," and having "no flexibility."

Sounds pretty definite. But just four days later, members of Obama's cabinet were directly contradicting their boss. "We're not talking about an exit strategy," said Hillary Clinton. "What we're talking about is an assessment". "We're talking about something that will take place over a period of time," said Robert Gates. "We will have 100,000 troops there. And they are not leaving in July of 2011."

This White House clearly has a credibility crisis. They need an exit strategy for their rollout of an exit strategy.

This is what I think....

The US military can leave Afghanistan any time, and I mean exactly that - everyone packs up their bags and goes home en masse - whenever that order is given.

Why fear the Taliban? How many of them are there, really, that they are worth fearing? Are they really even 'in' Afganistan? Compared to the resources of the American government­/military, the Taliban's little operation is pathetic.

We have already seen over the last eight years how standard military actions have failed to shut them down, no doubt because an army simply can't win against a guerilla force. What does an eighteen year old American kid know about fighting guerillas, never mind winning a war, beyond what's been seen via his or her XBox?

A desert war has to be fought by desert people. If there is no government infrastructure in Afghanistan, either create it or forget it. The culture is nomadic, why would they want an infrastructure counter to their lifestyle? If they won't maintain it, it's useless to build it.

The tribes are the most valuable resource that the US has to fight the Taliban. Why spend so much time and effort trying to convince America to do the job when the people of Afghanistan would very likely be happy to do it themselves, given the opportunity? Or, if they lack the numbers, where are their neighboring countries in all of this, are they not reliable allies?

Let other countries fight their own damned battles. Chances are good that everyone will be a lot happier.

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