Posted on 12-11-2009
Filed Under (Foreign Policy) by Rashtrakut

Andrew Sullivan praises Barack Obama’s deliberative decision making in Afghanistan.  With no end in sight to the war, no Afghan army that can engage the Taliban and an incompetent and corrupt local partner, it is heartening to see that the decision is finally discussing an exit strategy.  In the short run, I think more troops will be sent to Afghanistan (the number 30,000 is being tossed around).  But with American troops already outnumbering the Taliban on the ground, this will not solve a problem that ultimately lacks a pure military solution. The Taliban can always retreat to their Pakistani refuge or melt back into the tribal heartland.The US could try securing the perimeter like the Soviets and does have the decided advantage that the people outside the urbanized zones are not all shooting at its soldiers.  But that leaves a lot of white areas on the map in the previous link from Matt Yglesias that local allies need to fill.  The corrupt thugs and kleptocrats in Kabul will be of no help in this.

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