We are nearing the eight-year anniversary of the start of the war in Afghanistan. What have we accomplished? The Taliban is arguably more influential, potent and organized in that country than they were in October of 2001. The country’s infrastructure, in terms of economics, civil services, and politics, still appear to be in disarray. Oh, and one other thing, Osama-Bin Laden is still at large.
Unfortunately, Obama seems intent to stay the course there, which will probably destroy his presidency the way Vietnam did Johnson’s. If the mighty Russian army could not emerge from that country victorious, why do we think we can build that state to our liking when after nearly eight years we have regressed in our efforts, and our military is stretched thin in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The new strategy to fight the war in Afghanistan is leading the news today, and the story in Time carries this statement from a former CIA expert:
“President Obama inherited a disaster, a war which had been under-resourced horribly for at least six of the last seven and a half years,” former CIA official Bruce Riedel, who was tapped by the White House to review Afghan policy, said last week. Even if McChrystal gets whatever forces he feels he needs, the best one can hope for is that the situation may be stabilized in 12 to 18 months. “Anyone who thinks that in 12 to 18 months we’re going to be anywhere near victory is living in a fantasyland,” Riedel said.
It is not going to matter to the people in Afghanistan or voters in this country that Obama inherited the mess; all that will matter is that he will be the one unable to clean it up or get is out of it.