Global Security Headlines

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

US President Obama´s Afghan Endgame: Freedom Loses

Timetable for US War Effort

Naive US President Barak Hussein Obama sounded the endgame of his country´s war effort in Afghanistan in a long-winding speech at West Point last night. His words provide  comfort to the enemies of freedom in general worldwide and Al Quayda and the Taliban in particular.

Specifically to Afghanistan, the US cuts in half the original troop request by in-theater commander, General McChrystal, to 30,000 and July 2011 was arbitrarily selected as the date to draw down the war effort, in a bow to his Democrat Party anti-war firebrands.

The United States no longer has the will the complete the mission of beating the forces of tyranny.

Thus, Mr. Obama´s own hand-picked general will be bereft of the troops and resources necessary to wage the war to a ''successful conclusion.'' Ironically, this has been a central criticism by Mr. Obama and his politcal party of the previous administration´s handling of the war.Penny-wise is pound foolish.

Decent Interval with fewer resources

The US president could not utter the word victory. Afghanistan gets a decent interval with tepid US stepped-up support and then the country is abandoned just like Vietnam.

In a nutshell, the hopes are that the US-led coalition can beat back Taliban forces sufficiently to allow Aghan forces to take on the job of protecting their country - Afghanization. This is complete folly.

Announcing a timetable assures domestic critics, but telegraphs weakness to the enemy who can adjust his tactics and strategy to accommodate the end date. Sometimes a US president must have the courage to do what is correct despite his domestic critics. In the roguish neighborhood of SW Asia, an absence of US resolve guarantees a calamitous end.

Freedom loses, again

The naive US president´s broader points in his speech demonstrate clearly his fundamental misunderstanding of global security dynamics in this first half of the twenty-first century:

        ...I believe that we must exercise restraint in the use of military force...
        ...And we can't count on military might alone...
        ...We'll have to use diplomacy, because no one nation can meet the challenges of an interconnected world acting alone.

Tyranny does not respect diplomacy; tyranny only respects the credible threat or use of force. The naive US president may reject the use of military force, but diplomacy not backed by the stick is worthless. Soft power alone is not sufficient to persuade or dissuade opponents in a world governed by the aggressive use of force.

In some cases, unilateralism is justified when others refuse or are unable to act to defend those living '' under the dark cloud of tyranny.'' A fair reading of human history demonstrates that evil advances when good nations refuse to act. Freedom, a value the US president does not revere sufficiently, loses.

Enemy Agenda Advances Unopposed

In sum, abandoning Afghanistan is not a ''successful conclusion'' to the challenges posed by the enemy there. US allies should fear any commitment made with Washington (notice fewer  Nato troops are following on) and US enemies can push forward with their agenda without fear of reprisal. Weakness begets challenges.

A world where the US is purposely disengaged ratchets up the threats to peace and global security. Mr. Obama and his international affairs team will learn this lesson forthwith.

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