Today we learn why Washington fiddles as Afghanistan burns:
President Obama is exploring alternatives to a major troop increase in Afghanistan, including a plan advocated by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to scale back American forces and focus more on rooting out Al Qaeda there and in Pakistan, officials said Tuesday…
Among the alternatives being presented to Mr. Obama is Mr. Biden’s suggestion to revamp the strategy altogether. Instead of increasing troops, officials said, Mr. Biden proposed scaling back the overall American military presence. Rather than trying to protect the Afghan population from the Taliban, American forces would concentrate on strikes against Qaeda cells, primarily in Pakistan, using special forces, Predator missile attacks and other surgical tactics.
Well, that should win hearts and minds.
The Vice President – who has a much higher IQ than you – fancies himself as something of a foreign policy expert, although it is difficult to understand on what grounds. His most memorable foreign policy recommendation came in 2007, when he proposed a scheme to divide then-simmering Iraq into three provinces; Shia, Sunni and Kurdish. This plan won bipartisan backing in the Senate, with its only real drawback being that it was entirely unworkable, disregarding as it did the sentiments of the Iraqi population. They were quite happy to wreak mayhem among themselves, but would never have accepted the division of their country by a foreign power.
No more than the combative Pashtun tribes of the Afghan population would accept the continued occupation of foreign forces dedicated only to “surgical” attacks against their people. No more than the Pakistani body politic – already incensed at serial attacks upon their sovereignty – would be willing to suffer Predator drones and SOF playing whack-a-mole from Afghan bases in perpetuity, since they consider Afghanistan to be their “strategic depth” against mortal enemy India.
Some experts never learn.