Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shitloads More to Afghanistan

Joe Biden may not consider thousands more American troops a full shitload, and I don't want to put words into his mouth, but it's certainly a shitload more than he was calling for according to Bill Gertz today, reporting from Inside the Ring. The Vice-President and Hillary's number two in the State Department weren't looking to scale up the effort in Afghanistan to any significant degree at all, it appears, beyond keeping it from becoming an al Qaida Magic Kingdom.

Although Mr. Obama made assurances he would place uncommonly high stock in Joe Biden's foreign policy advice, that did not appear to persuade him away from an ambitious nation-building agenda in this, his first deployment of military servicemen. The President must have been convinced by Richard Holbrooke, special envoy to the region, and David Petraeus, architect of restorative feats in Iraq, that a comprehensive, rehabilitative approach to what is widely considered Hell on Earth is preferable to periodic, low-maintenance policing. In other words, exactly the same argument that won over President Bush with respect to Iraq---unless you believe he went there for the earl, in which case take your head out of your ass.

Observers of the scene will remember how Democrats, including all of those mentioned above, made a lot of noise over the last several years about how Afghanistan was the good war, and if only Democrats were in power, we'd pull out of Iraq and "surge" in Afghanistan (because wild-eyed critics of the project in Mesopotamia are no slouches in the War on Terror since they'd gladly blow tons more goat herders into smithereens if only they got the chance). Well, now Iraq is stabilizing, but still requiring our commitment, Afghanistan truly does look like it's backsliding, and we're out of fucking money. So we're doubling down on our attempt to break a thousands of years long series of failures to tame a region which has been called, with good reason, "the graveyard of empires".

This is now Barack Obama's war.

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