Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And meanwhile, in Afghanistan...

President Obama makes the war in Afghanistan his own, forcibly retires General McKiernan (a traditional war-fighter) and installs the somewhat notorious General McChrystal, an "unconventional" war-fighter who came up through the Special Forces.

What does this mean? Not much. Just a shift to death squads rather than conventional military campaigns, and much more emphasis upon intelligence gathering. Will this change the outcome in Afghanistan? Of course not. Everybody involved knows that the U.S. will leave Afghanistan. Maybe not this year, maybe not even the next year, but there simply is nothing in Afghanistan to justify the U.S. staying there long-term. It's not as if the U.S. has any national interests at stake in Afghanistan. Yeah, Afghanistan as a failed state could allow al Qaeda to re-form into an effective organization again... but then, there's plenty of other failed states in the region where they could do that. Like, increasingly, Pakistan. Which, I might remind you, has nuclear weapons...

-- Badtux the Geopolitical Penguin

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