Posted on 27-10-2009
Filed Under (Foreign Policy) by Rashtrakut

Matthew Hoh, former Marine corps captain who served in Iraq to join the foreign service resigned last month in protest over the continuation of the Afghan war.  This is not a man who can be dismissed as a week kneed liberal and appears to have been highly regarded.  This blog has been ambiguous on the subject of the Afghan intervention.  It has expressed concerns that the United States appears to be intervening in the next round of the Afghan civil war and that unless the corrupt Afghan government gets its act together the sacrifice of men and material will all ave been for naught.  Mr. Hoh seems to have expressed similar concerns from his vantage point on the ground with concerns that the American military involvement is fueling Pashtun nationalism.  These are valid concerns that must be addressed.  Unfortunately, domestic politics may trump these valid points as the ultimate tipping point on remaining in Afghanistan for the near future.

Having generally ignored Afghanistan for most of the Bush presidency, former Vice President Dick Cheney reemerged last week to accuse President Obama of dithering on Afghanistan and urging him to rush his decisions in a manner that obviously worked so well on Mr. Cheney’s watch in Iraq.  Likely 2012 presidential rivals Mitch Romney and Tim Pawlenty whose foreign policy statements generally contain more platitudes than deep thoughts or practical policy are also tossing some criticism.  See here and here.  A cynical outlook suggests that a fear of looking weak will force the Administration’s hand, though if Mr. Karzai continues his delightful habit of blaming everybody but himself it will increase American eagerness to jettison its Afghan albatross.

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