First, we look at the immediate--the local--situation in Afganistan, as portrayed in The Captain's Journal:
Advocating disengagement from Afghanistan is tantamount to suggesting that one front against the enemy would be better than two, and that one nation involved in the struggle would be better than two (assuming that Pakistan would keep up the fight in our total absence, an assumption for which I see no basis). It’s tantamount to suggesting that it’s better to give the Taliban and al Qaeda safe haven in Afghanistan as Pakistan presses them from their side, or that it’s better to give them safe haven in Pakistan while we press them from our side. Both suggestions are preposterous.
That there is an indigenous insurgency (the so-called ten dollar Taliban) that bootstraps to the real religiously motivated fighters is irrelevant. We had to fight our way through this group in Iraq too, and it is the nature of these insurgencies. Complaining about it is acceptable – but using it as an excuse to abandon the campaign is not. That every contact isn’t with Arabic or Chechen or Uzbek jihadists is irrelevant. That doesn’t mean that Afghanistan is not a central front in the transnational insurgency called Islamic Jihad. The Taliban are important inasmuch as they gave and would continue to give safe haven to globalists.
For this reason the campaign in Afghanistan must be successful. Pakistan will take their cue from us and follow our lead.
What about the bigger picture? How do we intend to defeat the jihad that is being forced on us? How are we trying to accomplish that in Afghanistan? Why are we there at all?
Immediately, it comes to mind that Osama bin Laden's training camps were there prior to our cleaning them out post-9-11.
They can be there once again, if we are not there to stop the jihadists. Pakistan is not a reliable ally.
What, however, is our goal for Afghanistan? Build up and secure another Islamic "democracy," as was thought to have been secured for Iraq?
What was the U.S. policy for combatting the jihad of the Islamics, financed by the Saudis?
Forward Strategy for Failure
It was not Obama who devised the current strategy for stopping the jihadist drive to defeat the United States.
It was the American strategy employed shortly after the attacks of 9-11.
The Objective Standard article "America's Self-Crippled Foreign Policy" goes to the core of this crippling foreign policy:
From examining the intentions and actions of our military in the field, it becomes obvious that what animated Bush’s policy was the notion of bringing elections and social services to Iraq and Afghanistan—not protecting American lives. And while Obama wants to be seen as the anti-Bush, his approach is animated by a similar goal. In his high-profile speech in Cairo last summer, he promised to fund and create “centers of scientific excellence in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.” What’s common here is the moral idea behind these policies—the idea that America must serve the meek and needy of the earth. We argue in the book[*] that this conventional outlook on morality has shaped American foreign policy, and that the effect has been inimical to our liberty and security.
The article then zeroes in on the cause of America's failure to defeat the jihad:
The “forward strategy of freedom”—Bush’s misleading name for his crusade to bring elections to the Middle East—lived up to the name we give it in the book: the forward strategy of failure. It served only to empower our enemies—the Islamists—by granting them legitimacy and political control, for example, in Iraq and the Palestinian territories. Near the end of Bush’s time in office, some of his supporters began trying to salvage his reputation by claiming that the “surge” of U.S. troops in Iraq has worked a miracle. But a look at the facts refutes that idea. In chapter 6[*] we explore what actually happened. Washington’s policy was to throw around wads of cash so that insurgents who were murdering Americans would switch sides—for as long as the money flows.
Further, many Islamists used Iraq as a training ground and have taken their battle-tested expertise to other fronts, including Afghanistan. Suicide bombings were once unheard of in Afghanistan; now they’re commonplace. There were thirty such attacks in the first five years of the Afghanistan war. In the first six months of last year, there were more than twelve hundred. The Afghan-Pakistan border is now a hotbed of jihadist training camps. Many terrorist plots, like the plot to blow up airliners crossing the Atlantic, trace back to that part of the world. The Islamist threat not only endured but grew worse under Bush—who watched as the most active sponsor of Islamist terrorism, Iran, chased nuclear weapons. This is what passes for “success”?
[*]Winning the Unwinnable War: America’s Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism (Lexington Books)
More at http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2009-fall/america-self-crippled-foreign-policy.asp
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