If We Do That, the Terrorists Win
The Obama-Karzai tag team has come up with a novel method for “winning” the war in Afghanistan…… wait for it…… Bribery! Well, not that exactly; we’re just offering them jobs!
One begs for clarification. Are the Taliban dangerous terrorists who pose an “existential threat” to the United States and will provide a “safe haven” for Al-Qaeda because they “hate our freedoms”™? Or are they just wayward souls, essentially good but led astray, whose allegiance can be purchased for a few jobs? (I should mention, in passing, that we could use a few jobs in America also.) Maybe this is just the last-ditch effort of an exhausted fighting-force to exit their quagmire without completely losing face.
The article details how our Generals have struck deals with various “tribal elders” to persuade their supposed constituents to lay down their arms and respect the Afghan Constitution. The strategy stinks of the so-called “surge” in Iraq during 2006-2007, though the latter might have been better named “surge-and-pay”. Along with a massive influx of new troops, President Bush’s “surge” strategy entailed making huge cash payments to former militants, bribing them, essentially, into going along with the Maliki government.
One problem, though. It didn’t work. In 2009, the year after President Bush declared the surge a “success” and Obama used that line in his campaign, Iraq has seen 76 suicide bombings, including the horrific bombing of their foreign ministry last month, which left upwards of 800 casualties, and in which US-sponsored security forces are alleged to have participated.
So what seems to have happened is that Iraq quieted down just enough for the US to rest assured that its oil deals will be honored (our exit strategy formulated mere months after the first deal was signed). Political reconciliation, an end to suicide attacks, any semblance of peace – the surge brought none of these to Iraq.
Now Obama, who has repeatedly claimed that the Iraq surge “exceeded [his] expectations”, evidently wishes to try for the same success in Afghanistan.
God help them.