Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Quagmire trap

If it wasn't for Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson would be remembered for the Civil Rights Act, The War on Poverty, Medicare and the Great Society.

Decades from now, will we be saying of Obama, 'If it wasn't for Afghanistan...'?
The situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan has only gotten worse since then. Both countries are suddenly boggled by constitutional crises; both Presidents — Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari — lead governments teetering on the edge of chaos. And the war is going badly on both sides of the border. The Pakistani Taliban has taken over the Swat Valley, a mere 100 miles (160 km) from Islamabad, and has wreaked havoc with NATO supply lines into Afghanistan through the Khyber Pass; the Afghan Taliban staged a dramatic terrorist attack in downtown Kabul. In his first major decision as Commander in Chief, Obama promised an additional 17,000 troops for Afghanistan, but he still hasn't fully defined the U.S. goal there, even though he repeatedly insisted during the campaign that this war — the war that began as an effort to find Osama bin Laden and dismantle al-Qaeda — was in the national interest and had to be won.

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