National Security Adviser James Jones says, "Reports that President Obama has made a decision about Afghanistan are absolutely false." That’s maybe good news. It maybe means Obama is coming to his senses and is ready to pull the plug on this Af-Pak madness.
Various reports indicated that Obama was ready to go along with a re-re-re-escalation of up to 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, but Jones says that’s bunk-ola. "[President Obama] has not received final options for his consideration, he has not reviewed those options with his national security team, and he has not made any decisions about resources," says Jones. "Any reports to the contrary are completely untrue and come from uninformed sources."
I guess that’s that. Jones isn’t a joke smith, one hears.
Some reports indicate that we’ve cut dope deals with the Pakistani military and its intelligence service to cut further dope deals with the Taliban for us and give us a face-saving way to skedaddle out of Afghanistan. I hope that there’s something to that.
Gen. Stan McChrystal’s scheme to mount a full-bull counterinsurgency in Afghanistan could only have come from someone as sleep deprived as he claims to be with the help of neocon maniacs like David Kilcullen and Fred Kagan. Based on the half-heinied strategy the Obama team came up with last March, we were going to disrupt al-Qaeda by occupying a country it wasn’t in any more, turn Afghanistan and Pakistan into real nations, and get the rest of the world to help us do it. It took mere months for team Obama to figure out that wasn’t going to work.
The much ballyhooed “deliberative process” the Obama administration is supposedly taking to coming up with a decision on Afghanistan is bull. Nobody needs to put a thousand staffers and the whole National Security Council, which is a bigger waste of government oxygen than the Joint Chiefs of Staff are, through a ringer and a rinse cycle to figure out the best course of action in Afghanistan. Winos in Uptown Chicago know our best course of action is to get the heck out of that tar pit.
Obama would have to be crazier than Caligula was to follow McChrystal’s megalomaniacal counterinsurgency scheme. Try to make the Afghans believe Hamid Karzai’s regime is legitimate? We’d be better served trying to turn lead into gold. Karzai’s a crooked jerk.
Reading tealeaves is an iffy business. Here’s what I’d like to think, though.
I’d like to think that Obama knows he poked the pup when he said Afghanistan was a “war of necessity.” I’d like to think he knows that he needs, at some point in the very near future, to have a sword fight with his out-of-control Pentagon.
The Pentagon, committed to make its Long War as long as it can make it, has spent $2.7 billion over the last three years on military construction in Afghanistan and plans to spend much more. It has granted a contract to a consulting firm for linguistics support in Afghanistan that has an estimated completion date of 2014.
The Jones decree aside, one continues to hear that Obama will settle on a “McChrystal Light” plan, one that gives Gen. Stanley McChrystal something short of the 40,000 troops he deems a minimum required to avoid mission failure. Unnamed senior administration officials say these reports are false, and are being leaked by Pentagon sources who are “trying to force a certain outcome."
We have a serious problem in this country, one that eclipses our economic and health care woes. Our military, and its supporters in Congress and industry, have virtually taken over our government. The open defiance of civilian rule, as illustrated by McChrystal’s blatant media campaign against the White House that has been endorsed by Gen. David Petraeus, Adm. Mike Mullen and Gen. George Casey, is untenable. I am ashamed of these men. If they ever had moral compasses, they have lost them. They are turning the United States of America into a banana republic. We’re little different, at this point, than Pakistan, which is owned and operated by its military and its intelligence agency.
Our military has gotten so far out of hand, in fact, that a Pentagon purge is demanded. Everybody in a position of power in the Department of Defense these days is a David Petraeus disciple, or at least pretends to be, and Petraeus is the most dangerous general we’ve had since Douglas MacArthur, who took credit for Adm. Chester Nimitz’s victory in the Pacific during World War II then snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Korea by goading the Chinese into the war.
As I’ve recommended before, Obama needs to demand the retirement or resignation letter of everyone in the Department of Defense who is a bird colonel or higher or whose job title includes the word “secretary.” Damn the torpedoes, Barry. You probably won’t see a second term anyway, so do the right thing with the one you have now. Toss these tinhorns in the trash.
Save our country from our militarists. Obama. Biden. Jones. Somebody. Anybody. Please.