Obama's Afghanistan Objective: In my opinion, the main US objective for Afghanistan has absolutely nothing to do with Hamid Karzai. I do not give a whit about the Karzai regime or ANY regime that the tyrannical, corrupt and opium driven Afghanistan power structure can invent. I do not care about turning a tradition, steeped in thousands of years of tribal warfare, into a Jeffersonian democracy. That is an impossible task. I do not care about oil, I do not care about a balance of fragmented Middle East power, and I do not even care about the inhumanities inflicted on the Afghans by their own people including 1/2 of their population, women. I do not care about these things not because I am inhumane but because this country simply CANNOT do it all.
What I DO care about is the safety and security of the American people and that is the ONLY thing about which I have ever cared. If Obama were president on 9/11 his main effort would have been devoted to striking those who struck us, getting Bin Laden, which he would probably have done, and wiping out bases from whence the attack was nurtured and honed. It would not have been war with Iraq.
It is impossible now because of the wasted time in Iraq to wipe out the tidal wave of Taliban in Afghanistan, ensure the stability of a corrupt Karzai regime or to eliminate the opium trade that sustains the Afghan economy. None of that is worth ONE more American life. What is worth life is keeping a laser-like eye on the wells from whence Bin Laden or those like him could spring to launch another attack. This is true NOT only for Afghanistan but it is true all over the world. Committing thousands more American troops to Afghanistan or anywhere else will do nothing but erode our military even more than it is today and risk subjecting our country to endless, intractable, and permanent war which could propel us to ruin.
We need to regroup, use what we have now in our technological and intelligence arsenal, invent NEW technologies, secure our borders and stay out of visual presence in the Muslim world. We need to wage a smart war, removed from Muslim populations by using technologies and intelligence which can, already do and, in the future, will keep us safe without returning to another Vietnamesque quagmire with all of its collateral damage inflicted on innocents.
This nation cannot afford more war -- not in troops, certainly not in treasure, and not in the hearts and minds of our OWN people much less in the hearts and minds of most of the Islamic world.