Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Shell Game

It has the feeling of a 'shell game'. The hidden, moving parts that we seem to chase forever. When we finally turn over the shell, we learn our eye has been fooled and our mind has played tricks on us. As President Obama announced his intentions of our coming and going in Afghanistan I could only wonder, isn't Al Qaeda in Pakistan?

We were told once more last night that this fiasco commenced as a reaction to 9/11. We did not move forward in Afghanistan until our request for that government to turn over Bin Laden was rejected. We went in, made progress, and then dropped the ball as we let a cornered Bin Laden escape. Instead, we turned our attention for years to a country where weapons of mass destruction did not exist and Al Qaeda had no stronghold. In the meantime, Bin Laden moved on.

Now we are advised that the Taliban, dispersed and defeated in those early days in the Afghanistan war, has reconstituted.We are told that we must renew our efforts to destroy their will and their capacity to hurt us. But, the real epicenter for our sworn enemy, Al Qaeda, lies across the border. It is estimated that less than 100 of Bin Laden's legion reside within Afghanistan. And yet, we are not and will not be committing our troops to finding and destroying those in Pakistan who daily plan our undoing. President Obama made vague reference to shoring up Afghanistan so there is one less potential safe haven for Bin Laden's crew. Is that the point of escalating a war?

It feels like there is always another reason to stay, always another reason to fight. As we put out fires in Iraq and now Afghanistan, Al Qaeda sits in Pakistan and hides under a shell we can't even locate. While we try to clean up a second mess, I can't help but wonder where will we next turn our attention. Pakistan, while not our enemy, is home to over 65 nuclear weapons at last count. It is the from here that the terrorists plot our demise. If the situation there destabilizes, don't we owe it to our country to head to that country to fight our actual enemy? And what about North Korea and Iran who hate us and move ever forward in their efforts to obtain nuclear powers? It seems like a never-ending dilemma.

I believe that President Obama is trying to clean up the mess he inherited in Afghanistan. But I think his task there is next to impossible, and even should he somehow declare mission accomplished in the future, I will not be certain what that mission was, and where we go from there.

We have become a nation addicted to the notion that we must not only face down actual threats, but we must act pre-emptively so that these threats do not materialize. It is the worst of many bad ideas that former President Bush left behind.

We are fighting today in Afghanistan to keep them from becoming a future haven for terrorists. There will always be a perceived possibility of lurking danger as we gaze around the globe. Until we change our thought process, and limit our actions to a response to imminent threats to our national security, we will keep looking under the wrong shells and coming up empty handed.


Anonymous said...

The point is good but the broader question is not what we should not do but what should we do? Nothing?Do you suggest that we let the Taliban come back and retake the country? Criticizing is easy but what is the solution? This is not Iraq which was a pointless exercise.I know I don't have an answer. Do you? Ted

Robert said...

Do we think that, if we had a clean slate, and none of the past 8 years had happened, that we would choose today to go into Afghanistan? I think the answer would clearly be no.

If you asked for the most appropriate solution, get out of Afghanistan and put pressure on Pakistan to take the necessary steps to eradicate Bin Laden and as many of his cohorts as possible. We are fighting wars based on possible future problems. The imminent danger is the protection of the nuclear arsenal in Pakistan and the demolition of the terrorists there. The rest is, at best, collateral, and as worst irrelevant.

Jack said...

No country, no army, has ever fully succeeded in Afghanistan.
The odds are very poor we'll be the first, especially with the impossible time constraints president Obama has placed on us. In a war of attrition we will surely fail. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are there, will dig in, frustrate our efforts, and wait us out. While I certainly don't have the answers, I believe this administration is clueless as well (we waited 92 days for this decision!). The American public is growing ever more tired of the futility and waste in Iraq, does not have the patience or stomach for further escalation in Afghanistan, the Democrats are badly split over this effort, while the real danger to our national security resides in nuclear Pakistan.

Robert said...

It is a problem that does not lend itself to an easy solution. If only all our enemies would present themselves together, at one time. That is the war we know how to fight. This one we don't.

Anonymous said...

Hello !.
You may , perhaps curious to know how one can reach 2000 per day of income .
There is no need to invest much at first. You may begin earning with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you thought of all the time
The firm incorporates an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

Its head office is in Panama with affiliates around the world.
Do you want to become an affluent person?
That`s your choice That`s what you really need!

I feel good, I started to get real money with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. It`s all about how to select a correct partner who uses your savings in a right way - that`s it!.
I make 2G daily, and my first deposit was 1 grand only!
It`s easy to get involved , just click this link http://gatiropy.ibnsites.com/kyxebic.html
and go! Let`s take our chance together to feel the smell of real money