Spot read somewhere – can’t even remember where, at the moment – that the reason for continuing and escalating efforts in Afghanistan is to provide a way to get at western Pakistan, where the bad guys really do live. Not fighting for a democratic Afghanistan, not to protect the women there, not anything else really having to do with Afghanistan. It’s more rational, anyway, than any other explanation Spot has heard.
Of course, we can’t really say that, since Pakistan is our “ally.” It’s the 80s flipped around: then we used Pakistan as a base for operations in Afghanistan against the Soviets (mostly by our proxies the mujahedeen); now we’re in Afghanistan to have better access for raids into Pakistan.
Whether this amounts to a good or idea or not, Spot cannot say. There is, no doubt, potential for kinds of blow back we haven’t even imagined yet.
The alternative, one supposes, is to conduct raids into Pakistan (if indeed, we think we have to do that) from, gulp, India. Now that’s problematic.
Spot also read recently – again, can’t remember where - that the keys to the nukes were turned over to the Prime Minister by the President of Pakistan, and that the government there is extremely shaky, even more shaky than usual. Maybe that means we can look, er, forward, to another military coup in Pakistan and the ascendance of pro-Taliban elements in the government.
That would be bad.
The decision to shift all of the resources we did from Afghanistan to Iraq is looking worse and worse in the rear view mirror. We’ve been in Afghanistan so long that we’ve managed to turn the Taliban into fighters in a war of national liberation in the minds of many Afghans, at least the Pashtuns in the south.
Anyway, Spot is curious to know what the rest of you think.