May 11, 2012 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - As we have noted on these pages numerous times, Team Obama's decision to walk away from our commitment to Afghanistan has produced a bountiful harvest...of rotting fruit.
The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, necessitated in order to take out al-Qaida's forward base of operations, came along with an implicit moral imperative, that we would not abandon the country to once again be ruled by a group of tenth century religious fanatics, the Taliban, who then harbored al-Qaeda jihadists while enforcing brutal Shari'a [Islamic law].
In politics, no policy, regardless of how forcefully it is stated or how frequently it's repeated should ever be considered set in stone and that certainly applies to Mr. Obama and his rapid abandonment of Afghanistan.
As with nearly every issue this president has "evolved" his positions according to political expedience.
For example, in a 2009 speech to the VFW national convention he clearly defined the goal of "his" Afghan policy, defeat of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, its host/enabler:
"We must never forget...This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which Al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting. This is fundamental to the defense of our people." [source, Sheryl Gay Stahlberg, Obama Defends Strategy In Afghanistan, NY Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/us/politics/18vets.html?_r=1]
This bravura performance was followed by a pretend "surge" in Afghanistan modeled upon Gen. Petraeus' successful campaign in Iraq. Though the left denied it, Gen. Petraeus' campaign literally grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat - until Mr. Obama decided to turn tail in the country, thus jettisoning the U.S.' hard fought gains.
Paradoxically, it was Obama's expressed intent then to employ the same surge tactics. The policy tack seemed odd at the time, since Mr. Obama and the entire leadership of the Democrat party, plainly and belligerently claimed that the surge had failed and that we had lost the war - who can forget Harry Reed's now infamously incorrect assertion regarding the surge - February 11, 2009:
"I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and - you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows - (know) this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday.." [source, "Senator Reid On Iraq: "This War Is Lost" CBS News, http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-250_162-2709229.html]
Despite what one might think to be fatal complications - the outright rejection of an already successful proven methodology - Obama chose to at least give lip service to it in order to forestall the historically correct contention that the Democrat party was dangerously pacifistic when it came to matters of national security.
What followed the announcement of the Afghan surge is not pretty.
After months of dawdling faux deliberations, Obama denied the minimum troop request his hand-picked field commander had suggested, replacing it with a number deemed insufficient for the intended task. Additionally he established a new set of rules of engagement [ROI] which essentially defanged the American/NATO effort, wrapping any intended military action in so much red tape that active engagement with the enemy was nearly impossible.
The ROI themselves became a source of embarrassment and befuddlement to the commanders now charged with winning a war absent the tools which were necessary to accomplish it. To show how ridiculous the new ROI were, sentries posted at the gates of Bagram AFB were not allowed to even hamper Taliban spotters, who, equipped with mobile phones alerted their officers as to the size and strength of outgoing detachments because these jihadis were not armed, nor were they presenting a clear and present threat as it became redefined.
From that point onward this president's policies assured eventual defeat in Afghanistan and victory for the Taliban.
How could it be any other way? Team Obama had stated that he intended to start the big drawdown in Afghanistan calculated to commence just a few months before the 2012 U.S. presidential election. Now in total disarray, Obama and Hillary's State Department agreed to holding "secret" talks with the Taliban enemy in Qatar. The talks, apparently ongoing, have been accompanied by U.S. promises of freedom for certain high level Taliban terrorists, to be released from GITMO as a gesture of "goodwill."
Now this self-imposed death spiral is tightening considerably. Having signed a meaningless 12 year mutual aid pact with Hamid Karzai, the Afghans are now firmly in control and calling our shots. As a direct result of Obama's political calculus, the Afghan military leadership [such as it is] is now engaged in a policy of continually ratcheting up a set of restrictions placed upon U.S. operations. This has changed the nature of the American/NATO operation so much that it has in essence turned the allied forces into modern day Hessian mercenaries, we pay the bills and bury our dead while the Afghans play coy games, hoping to placate and/or fend off the Taliban until their eventual triumphant return after the American military is forced to slink out of the country.
We assume that Karzai, his drug king brother and the rest of his corrupt inner circle are now simply preparing the way for their own orderly retreat from their homeland - unknown quantities of American cash stashed in Swiss bank accounts at the ready - when the Taliban comes a' knockin', looking for bloody retribution.
These people know from personal experience how the Taliban operates when they are free to act with impunity, witness the treatment of former Afghan president, Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai, upon Russia's hasty exit. He was castrated, dragged through the streets of Kabul behind a truck then hanged from a lamp post.
Similarly brutal treatment can be expected at the hands of a victorious Taliban, especially for Afghanistan's newly emancipated women. The most distressing point is that this victory for worldwide Islamism will now carry the official seal of approval by Mr. Obama's White House.
That is going to be very hard to explain should this dangerous and foolish man be returned to power this coming fall.
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