Word is leaking out how the President of the United States is going to explain backing away from General McCrystal’s recommendation–Magic. I’m totally serious, in one magic-like act, President Obama is going to wave a wand and declare that the Taliban is no longer our enemy. According to the NY Times, Obama is looking at adopt the Sally Fields strategy “You Like me, You Really Like me”:
President Obama’s national security team is moving to reframe its war strategy by emphasizing the campaign against Al Qaeda in Pakistan while arguing that the Taliban in Afghanistan do not pose a direct threat to the United States, officials said Wednesday.
As Mr. Obama met with advisers for three hours to discuss Pakistan, the White House said he had not decided whether to approve a proposed troop buildup in Afghanistan. But the shift in thinking, outlined by senior administration officials on Wednesday, suggests that the president has been presented with an approach that would not require all of the additional troops that his commanding general in the region has requested.
Well that’s one way to eliminate a terrorist threat you have been fighting for 8 years, you don’t defeat them, you declare that you aren’t enemies. Yes that will work real well. The Taliban will be laughing at our Presidential stupidity so hard that they be able to stop and attack.
There are also those in the White House who say that while the Taliban really like US, they don’t like Al-Qaeda:
Moreover, they suggest that the Taliban have no interest in letting Al Qaeda back into Afghanistan because that was what cost them power when they were toppled by American-backed Afghan rebels in 2001
Gee whiz, I feel better already, don’t you? The other strategy is called, “Even though our generals say we can…We Can’t Win, so lets quit”
Another official, who also was authorized to speak but not to be identified, said the different views of Al Qaeda and the Taliban were driving the president’s review. “To the extent that Al Qaeda has been degraded, and it has, and to the extent you believe you need to focus on destroying it going forward, what is required going forward?” the official asked. “And to prevent it from having a safe haven?”
The officials argued that while Al Qaeda was a foreign body, the Taliban could not be wholly removed from Afghanistan because they were too ingrained in the country. Moreover, the forces often described as Taliban are actually an amalgamation of militants that includes local warlords like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the Haqqani network or others driven by local grievances rather than jihadist ideology.
Right now the discussion centers around whether the Taliban is a threat to us. According to Joe Biden, the SHMOTUS, the Taliban can be contained with current troop levels and eventually by Afghan forces trained by the United States.
“The policy people and the intelligence people inside are having a big argument over this,” said Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations who has advised Mr. Biden. “Is the Taliban a loose collection of people we can split up? Can we split the Taliban from Al Qaeda? If the Taliban comes back to power in parts of Afghanistan, are they going to bring Al Qaeda back with them?”
On the other hand:
Some analysts say that the Taliban and Al Qaeda have actually grown closer since the first American bombs fell on the Shomali Plain north of Kabul eight years ago Tuesday. “The kind of separation that existed between the Taliban and Al Qaeda in 2001 really doesn’t exist anymore,” said Anthony H. Cordesman, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who has advised General McChrystal. “You have much more ideological elements in the Taliban. In the east, they’re really mixed in with Al Qaeda.”
“It’s a dangerous argument to assume that the Taliban won’t revert to where they were pre-9/11 and provide Al Qaeda sanctuary,” she said. Referring to General McChrystal, she added, “If you don’t give him the troops he asked for and continue with the Predator strikes, you can kill them one at a time, but you’re not going to drain the swamp.”
After sunset, you can see a tiny light over flying over the oval office, it even glitters. But don’t be frighted, its only the Stupid Fairy who, based on the latest reports is helping the President work out his new Afghan strategy. It must be, there is no other way that someone could come up with a strategy that says the Taliban doesn’t’ really want to hurt us and feel it is the way to protect American lives.