Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Bit of Foreign Policy Advice for My Friends in the White House

From the Guardian (UK):

Four days after he visited Afghanistan, Obama said that money saved from ending wars should be used to reduce the country's debt and to boost healthcare, education and infrastructure.
"The tide of war has turned in Afghanistan," he said in his weekly radio and internet address. "We've broken the Taliban's momentum. We've built strong Afghan security forces. We've devastated al-Qaida's leadership. And one year ago our troops launched the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. The goal that I set to defeat al-Qaida and deny it a chance to rebuild is within reach.
"After more than a decade of war, it is time to focus on nation-building here at home."

Seems pretty stupid. What kind of talk is this? If you want to defeat your opponents you have to convince them they do not have a cause. If they keep feeling committed, if they continue to feel they are right, they will continue on as enemies. As long as the Taliban (or that other group) continue to feel they are right I do not see any reason to be confident about their going away for Obama’s convenience, in an election year, which kind of seems to be what his words amount to. Silly speech.
     What is needed is that the U.S. takes away their feeling that they have a real cause.  Until we do that, and it involves both the reinforcement of our own legitimacy and messages or arguments about their lack of it, these persons will still feel they are right. And then there is no stopping them. They will stay motivated. They will continue to do what they are doing. Even if they die doing it.

No comments:

Post a Comment