Monday :: Mar 3, 2008

Full glory


by Turkana

Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan, the Bush Administration's crowning achievement glimmers in full glory. We certainly taught those terrorists a lesson. You know- the ones who attacked us. September 11. Dead or alive. Smokin' 'em out of their caves. We hear you. Et cetera.

The Associated Press reported, last week:

The Afghan government under President Hamid Karzai controls just 30 percent of the country, the top U.S. intelligence official said Wednesday.

Well, that's not bad, after six years. That proves the almighty power of the United States, when wielded by foreign policy grownups. Thirty percent is pretty good. In baseball, anyway.

Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the resurgent Taliban controls 10 percent to 11 percent of the country and Karzai's government controls 30 percent to 31 percent. But more than six years after the U.S. invasion to oust the Taliban and establish a stable central government, the majority of Afghanistan's population remains under local tribal control, he said.

Well, see, that's the good news- Karzai's "government" controls thirty percent, but the Taliban only control ten percent! So, we're winning. Or something. After six years.

Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, the Defense Intelligence Agency director, told the committee at the same hearing that the Pakistan government is trying to crack down on the lawless tribal area along the Afghan border area where Taliban and al-Qaida are believed to be training, and from which they launch attacks in Afghanistan. But neither the Pakistani military nor the tribal Frontier Corps is trained or equipped to fight, he said.

Of course, we have the best trained, best equipped military in the world. But they're busy. Elsewhere. Fighting a war that didn't need to be fought. Fighting a war that wouldn't have been fought if Bush hadn't started it. For no reason.

Maples said it would take three to five years to address those deficiencies and see a difference in their ability to fight effectively in the tribal areas.

"Pakistani military operations in the (region) have not fundamentally damaged al-Qaida's position in the region. The tribal areas remain largely ungovernable and, as such, they will continue to provide vital sanctuary to al-Qaida, the Taliban and regional extremism more broadly," Maples said.

Well, I guess we should blame Pakistan, now. Because even though it was Bush who turned away, so he could start that war that shouldn't have been started against that country that had never attacked us or even posed a threat to us, it's always someone else's fault. And things continue to deteriorate in the lands where the people who did actually attack do actually still live and thrive. Because Bush failed to get them. Because Bush continues to fail to get them. And this Washington Post story should come as no surprise:

In the year and a half since NATO took over southern Afghanistan from U.S. forces, its mission has changed dramatically. Dispatched to the region to maintain newly restored order and help local Afghans reconstruct their shattered communities, Dutch and other troops from the alliance now find themselves on the front lines of a renewed fight with a more cunning and aggressive Taliban.

More foreign soldiers and Afghan civilians died in Taliban-related fighting last year than in any year since U.S. and coalition forces ousted the extremist Islamic militia, which ruled most of the country, in 2001. Military officials here expect the coming year to be just as deadly, if not more so, as the Taliban becomes more adept militarily and more formidable in its deployment of suicide bombers and roadside explosives.

The Taliban's growing strength, which surprised Dutch forces here, helps explain why NATO members are reluctant to send more troops to an increasingly dangerous battlefield and have instead adopted a strategy based less on military force.

Because the Taliban hadn't been defeated. Because the people who enabled those who attacked us on September 11 didn't really matter to Bush. And as much as he has flogged that one-trick pony, playing it for every last drop of political and human blood he can, you would think that someone, somewhere might want to hold him accountable. To report on it. To investigate it. To emphasize that the single issue by which Bush chose to define his presidency has been nothing less than a catastrophic disaster.

Turkana :: 5:18 PM :: Comments (3) :: Digg It!