Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Afghanistan: Anti-War President Ramps Up War

If the multiple missile strikes inside Pakistani territory didn't make the point, this article in the New York Times puts an exclamation point on it. Obama means war.
"Mr. Obama is preparing to increase the number of American troops in Afghanistan over the next two years, perhaps to more than 60,000 from about 34,000 now."
Of course, anybody who's been listening knew that Obama's strategy was always about increasing the troop commitment in Afghanistan, but the sheer hawkishness of his strategy hasn't really been so apparent. The article in the Times makes it so - no longer is there going to be the fig leaf of "development" that used to happen through the Provincial Reconstruction Teams, albeit in a half-assed, uncoordinated way that prioritized military objectives. Now, the US has "a new American approach to Afghanistan that will put more emphasis on waging war than on development." Anybody thinking of getting married in Afghanistan must be worried, since US war-making seems to include bombing a lot of wedding parties.
However, endless pain and misery for the locals aside, someone ought to tell Obama what happened to every other empire that has tried to subdue Afghanistan. It isn't for nought that Afghanistan is called the graveyard of empires. And now it looks as though, in a move eerily similar to escalation in Vietnam, the Americans are taking things out of the hands of their local puppet, who is having his video-call privileges with the President of the United States taken away. The Americans will focus on regional strongmen and brute military force to defeat the resurgent Taliban.
Where have we heard this song before?
Without a full scale invasion of Pakistan, the US and sycophantic allies like Canada, will never defeat the Afghan insurgents. But such an invasion would turn Pakistan into one more failed state as the already extensive internal rot of the Pakistani state apparatus collapses under the external and internal pressures. From battling a low tech, mostly localized insurgency within a tiny undeveloped country, the US risks opening up a front against a country with a population of 172 million and an ample supply of nuclear weapons. Yet, as dumb as this sounds, it is the Obama plan for fighting terrorism. He has just made Afghanistan his war and he risks being destroyed by it, just like Bush was destroyed by Iraq.
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