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Thanks for this Magnifico.  As someone who believes that an escalation in Afghanistan will be Obama's first real strategic mistake - the others have been sins of omission - I have nevertheless been impressed by Obama's refusal to be bullied into a quick decision by Cheney and the Brass.

I will be more interested in what he says tomorrow about an exit strategy.  Will he "balance" an escalation with a determination to withdraw once certain strategic goals have been achieved?

Getting Pakistan to do a lot of the dirty work is a no-brainer from a US imperialist perspective.  What bothers me is that Obama seems to have accepted the neo-con assumption that the way to stop terrorism is to engage in "nation building" - i.e. satellite creation.  

It is doubtful that any policy could create out of Afghanistan a "nation" the US could happily partner with.  The best he can hope to do is "contain" the drug and terror cartels within certain regions and let the rest of Afghanistan look after itself.  However even that is doubtful  There is no strategy which leads to the US "creating a satisfactory satellite" there.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 30th, 2009 at 03:50:28 PM EST
I sincerely doubt Obama's goal is to create an American satellite out of Afghanistan. Since at least the time that he took office, Obama has stated his goal (and thus America's goal) is to keep Afghanistan from being used as a place from which al Qaeda can operate. Here's what Obama said last week regarding this:

I can tell you, as I've said before, that it is in our strategic interest, in our national security interest to make sure that al Qaeda and its extremist allies cannot operate effectively in those areas.  We are going to dismantle and degrade their capabilities and ultimately dismantle and destroy their networks.  And Afghanistan's stability is important to that process.

I think it could be argued that the U.S. and its NATO allies have already done this. I doubt further military action will "dismantle and degrade their capabilities and ultimately dismantle and destroy their networks". Rather I think that will take effective police work. I believe fighting terrorism is best done as part of a criminal investigation and prosecution. Using the military does the opposite of fighting terrorism, I think it encourages terrorism and gives those who would use those tactics a rallying point for gaining new recruits.

by Magnifico on Mon Nov 30th, 2009 at 10:25:52 PM EST
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But he also said:

Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Singh of India in Joint Press Conference | The White House

It's going to be very important to recognize that the Afghan people ultimately are going to have to provide for their own security.  And so we'll be discussing that process whereby Afghan security forces are properly trained and equipped to do the job. And it's going to be important to recognize that in order for us to succeed there you've got to have a comprehensive strategy that includes civilian and diplomatic efforts.

Which can be interpreted building a proper satellite.

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by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 1st, 2009 at 01:17:56 PM EST
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