November 19, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - NATO's highest ranking civilian official, Mark Sedwill has expressed displeasure with a recent statement by Afghan president Karzai in which he called for a drawdown of military forces in the country terming it, "not helpful." [see, Peter Spiegel and James Blitz ,Karzai Remarks Not Helpful Says NATO, Financial Times, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f6a58a82-f403-11df-886b-00144feab49a.html#axzz15kzljuA8]
There's no doubt that such statements can harm a war effort [see, Petraeus' Disagreement Is With Obama, Not Karzai, http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=petraeus111510%2Ehtm] but blaming Karzai ignores the more fundamental problem which is that both president Obama and NATO have already gone considerably farther than Karzai, NATO declaring this week that it wanted to be out of Afghanistan by 2014 and team Obama already having stated that it wants to start the American withdrawal by next summer.
As the Rolling Stones said, "But what can a poor boy do?"
Karzai, sees that both America and NATO have already written his country off, making the Taliban and its Pakistani and Iranian backers more powerful every day. This has predictably resulted in Karzai mending fences in order to prepare for the day when he and the Afghan people are on their own, with nothing between them and the imposition of a vengeful Shari'a but promises from the guy who pulled the plug in the first place.
For the first time, M1 Abrams battle tanks are on their way to Helmand province, most likely an attempt to salvage what remains of the failed summer offensive there. This is an ominous sign 9 years into this conflict. Team Obama has found that it has no idea how to run, let alone win a war, making the increased firepower probably more a function of preventing the humiliation of being driven out of Afghanistan than anything else.
Such a rout would not be attributable to any lack of bravery or military prowess on the part of our troops, it would be rather, a reflection of this president failing to pass muster as Commander in Chief. If he fails here, a very real possibility, it will irredeemably harm our ability to combat Islamic terrorism throughout the world. In a larger sense it would signify the crumbling of America as the remaining super power.
While that doesn't seem to be a big concern for Obama, the second half of his term will in large part be seen in the spotlight of this potential disaster whether he comprehends it now or not.
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