The opposition within the White House to answering Stan McChrystal’s request for forces is congealing around Joe Biden’s skepticism, which may or may not be politically motivated. But it’s interesting to learn the strategic rationale buttressing his stand-off-and-play-whack-a-mole plan:
But White House officials are resisting McChrystal’s call for urgency, which he underscored Thursday during a speech in London, and questioning important elements of his assessment, which calls for a vast expansion of an increasingly unpopular war. One senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the meeting, said, “A lot of assumptions — and I don’t want to say myths, but a lot of assumptions — were exposed to the light of day.”
Among them, according to three senior administration officials who attended the meeting, is McChrystal’s contention that the Taliban and al-Qaeda share the same strategic interests and that the return to power of the Taliban would automatically mean a new sanctuary for al-Qaeda.
So elements within the White House seem quite content to let the Taliban back in power with all that such a reconquista would entail: Stuff the women under burkhas and back into the back room, close the schools, resume the executions in the soccer stadia and welcome back into power those who hosted a terrorist group that killed nearly 3000 of our citizens on a bright September morning just eight years past.
So much for the moral high ground in President Obama’s “war of necessity”, not to mention the strategic impact such a victory would imply for the Pakistani Taliban. With a victory in Afghanistan, the latter will be free to complete their destabilization of the only nuclear armed Islamic state and spread their toxins throughout Central Asia.
As though a resurgent Taliban would be at all interested in hosting Predator and Reaper drones, or special forces can pick their way through a hostile population carrying out targeted assassinations without recourse to heavy support.
The whole notion is breathtakingly stupid.
White House to forward commander: We don’t actually have a plan, we just don’t like yours.