...Everyone wants to cut and run from a disaster. But nobody wants to cut and run too quickly, lest they be accused of what they are doing -- cutting and running.
So the sleight of hand begins. The Americans and British have changed their exit deadline to 2014, which is somehow meant to answer the criticism that their counter-insurgency strategy couldn't be taken seriously if they were going to leave in 2011, as President Obama had previously promised.
Is there really going to be a U.S. "surge" this fall that will magically defuse the Taliban, given that a test surge in the spring was an abject failure, given that more than a hundred American soldiers are already dying every month, and given that a surge would bring even more bodies home in the middle of crucial U.S. mid-term elections? And wouldn't a surge -- chasing down Taliban the way we used to -- represent a failure of the counter-insurgency strategy and mark a return to the failed counter-terrorism strategy?
Parliament has made the right decision. We can wallow around Afghanistan for another three years trying to save face. Or we can be adults and not get burned twice. Let us face a harsh truth: for all the efforts of our courageous troops, and the courageous troops of our allies, nation-building doesn't make sense in a nation that doesn't want to get built.
Let's quit pretending.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
This one is worth the read.