Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 6:39 AM

Obama’s ironic mission to Afghanistan

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

It is a fateful indication of how little progress the US has made in Afghanistan that President Obama had to deploy even more cloak and dagger maneuvers to visit there last weekend (over eight years into this war) than former President Bush did in 2006 (five years after launching it).

And you’d think that having to sneak into this country in the dark of night would temper Obama’s boasts about “defeating, dismantling, and destroying” al-Qaeda terrorists.  Not to mention the humiliating contrast this struck with the very public, if not triumphant, state visit Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made there just a couple of weeks ago….

Yet the instructive irony of this embarrassing folly seemed completely lost on Obama. Only this explains him trying to rally his war-weary troops by boasting that he’s “absolutely confident” he’ll be able to stamp “mission accomplished” on Afghanistan by July 2011.  Indeed, the irony of ironies is that he sounded every bit as delusional as his predecessor did when he made a similar boast about wrapping up the war in Iraq almost seven years ago….

Meanwhile, despite the surge, the Associated Press reported on Monday that:

The number of US troops killed in Afghanistan has roughly doubled in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period last year.

And many more troops are bound to die, especially since planning is still in the works to retake the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar.

But I always knew it would be thus:

The US legacy there will be distinguished either by a terminally wounded national pride as American forces beat a hasty retreat in defeat (following the Russian precedent), or by thousands more American soldiers being lost in Afghanistan’s “graveyard of empires” as they continue fighting this unwinnable war (following America’s own Vietnam precedent): more troops only mean more sitting ducks for Taliban fighters.

Therefore, Obama would be well-advised to cut America’s losses and retreat ASAP; let the Afghans govern themselves however they like; and rely on Special Forces to disrupt and dismantle Taliban and al-Qaeda operations in country, and on aerial drones to attack their havens in the mountainous regions of Pakistan.

[Gen McChrystal: “failure in Afghanistan is likely,” TIJ, September 23, 2010]

The vietnamization of Afghanistan continues….

Related commentaries:
failure is likely

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