Saturday, April 4, 2009

Obama's plan for Afghanistan?

Gerard Vanderleun seems to have it figured out:

I think he realizes what his needs are in Afghanistan. What he needs to do is end a war in an American defeat while being seen as "trying for a victory." To do that he has to engineer an American defeat. Iraq is already, in the public mind at least, in the win column. So how do we engineer an American defeat? It is simplicity itself. You begin, not with a "surge" but a ripple.
Full details at American Digest.

The one thing that Vanderleun leaves out is this business of negotiating with the "moderate Taliban." Vice-President Biden has apparently been conducting interviews, or taking a poll:
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., speaking to NATO allies this week in Brussels, called 5 percent of the Taliban “incorrigible — not susceptible to anything other than being defeated.” A senior European diplomat involved in Afghanistan said officials believed that number to be 100 to 1,000 Qaeda and Taliban members. Mr. Biden said he believed that “another 25 percent or so” were uncertain about their commitment to the insurgency, while about 70 percent were involved because it meant “getting paid.”

But how exactly the Afghan government and the United States will pry away those insurgents remained unclear. Whatever is decided must be presented by the Afghan government, Mr. Biden said. “I do think it is worth engaging and determining whether or not there are those who are willing to participate in a secure and stable Afghan state,” he said.
I wonder why that question of "whether or not there are those who …" was not included in the survey.

It could be an amusing (for them) exercise in taqqiya for the Talib chiefs to pick a couple of their number to pretend to be moderates, and go waste the infidels' time in pointless talk. This would provide something for the Administration to point to: "See, we have found the moderate Taliban, and we are negotiating right now."

Update: "Barack Obama fails to win Nato troops he wants for Afghanistan."
Barack Obama made an impassioned plea to America’s allies to send more troops to Afghanistan, warning that failure to do so would leave Europe vulnerable to more terrorist atrocities.

But though he continued to dazzle Europeans on his debut international tour, the Continent’s leaders turned their backs on the US President.
I don't understand. I thought that relations with our allies were supposed to improve. Or as Glenn Reynolds says, "No, we can't." There is more to diplomacy than impassioned pleading.


blake said...

I understand the leftist logic that equates "peace with honor" with "victory", because how horrible was it that we're fighting a war anyway? Our defeat is our victory.

But what's a Taliban tallyman to do? The previous administration was pretty good at wiping them out, which is one of those facts that doesn't yield to PR, if you're among the eradicated.

I mean, it's a great time to make a move. The current administration has all but emblazoned their unwillingness to actually do anything about anything international in giant letters on the Vietnam war memorial. But recruitment has to be tough, and these things take time.

So, logically, they should act mollified and pretend that everything's been settled. Then rebuild their forces, plan another 9/11 (maybe with nukes this time), and do everything to get a second term for BHO.

I don't think they're that logical, though. So they'll probably continue fighting, the press will play the whole thing down. Or we'll get a defeat in Afghanistan as penance for our victory in Iraq.

They'll be able to achieve much of the same things they would if they were smart, because of the collusion of many different, stupid forces.

That old saw about incompetence versus evil neglects the ways that incompetence enables evil.

Hector Owen said...

What you describe in the paragraph beginning "So, logically, they should act mollified …" is a hudna, or strategic truce.

"HUDNA - Arabic word often translated as "cease-fire.- Historically used as a tactic aimed at allowing the party declaring the hudna to regroup while tricking an enemy into lowering its guard. When the hudna expires, the party that declared it is stronger and the enemy weaker. The term comes from the story of the Muslim conquest of Mecca. Instead of a rapid victory, Muhammad made a ten-year treaty with the Kuraysh tribe. In 628 AD, after only two years of the ten-year treaty, Muhammad and his forces concluded that the Kuraysh were too weak to resist. The Muslims broke the treaty and took over all of Mecca without opposition."

The Palestinians do this often, declaring "cease-fires" to gain time to re-arm. They never seem to be able to actually cease firing for very long, though.

blake said...

Just so.

The problem seems to be that they have this process of "Hey! We want peace."

And then the other side goes, "OK."

And then they go, "Hahahaha! Now we have time to regroup."

And then there's a slight regrouping, with some faction saying, "Hey! We'd never stop fighting if we were winning, therefore the fact that they stopped fighting proves they were losing! Attack!"

Hector Owen said...

Yup. As somebody said about an area slightly to the west of Afghanistan, if the Palestinians lay down their weapons, they can have peace. If the Israelis lay down their weapons, there will be no more Israel.

Yasser Arafat's Nobel Peace Prize only serves to epitomize the meaninglessness of the Peace Prize. If I were Al Gore, which thank the Lord I'm not, sir, I'd be ashamed to be in such company.