Obama’s War

7 Nov

Conservative columnist George Will called for a reversal of the Obama policy in Afghanistan today, quoting Charles De Guall- “Genisus… sometimes consists of knowing when to stop.” Will ‘s article, Afghanistan: Time to Stop Nation-Building, is an pragmatic argument best summed up by saying the mission is over. Al-Qaeda no longer has basis’s in the nation, so why stay and try to build a nation where the economy and infrastructure wouldn’t even meet Fred Flinstones level of of sophistication. Course Fred had dinosaurs to help him out so that’s not really a fair comparison.

Of course President Obama doesn’t really argee with George Will’s assessment, believing that Afghanistan is essentially the proving ground for his administrations version of a war on terror. The problem for both men’s position is Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of US forces in Afghanistan. General McChrystal has argued that the war and goals are within research, but all he needs is more resources.

But this is the crux of Will’s argument; if the goal, as the President has recently stated,  is to elimate the threat of Al-Qeada in the region then that job is done. Resources in this economy are limited, and an increase in to Afghanistan may not be the best target to battle the broader regional issues.

As Will alludes to in th conclusion of his article, Pakistan is the real regional hope. Pakistan is almost a country. Sure it has a few intergovernmental issues and the swat valley is basically the wild west, but hey at least they have a government and some level of infrastructure. Afghanistan’s economy is primarily built on the trafficking of illegal drugs, which mostly funds terrorist organizations and possibly the vice President of the country.

Either way, it’s not exactly an ideal nation in which to foster a stable democracy, or any form of government for that matter.  As Will sites, Afghanistan is second to worst on the Brookings Institute list of places to nation build, beating out Somalia. Resources should be placed where they can have the greatest impact, and taking Afghanistan over Pakistan in the war of central asian terrorism is trying to turn around the Oakland Raiders when the 49ers are right next door. *

* For those of you who don’t follow the NFL as some of us fantasy football obsessed people do, here’s another analogy – It’s like investing in 8 track a year after CD’s came out.

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