Monday, September 14, 2009

McChrystal: No significant al-Qaeda presence in Afghanistan

If this is indeed the case, and if Obama was serious in his definition of the goals for the Afghanistan intervention (= to keep al-Qaeda from setting up shop there), isn't it logical to conclude that a major infusion of troops (dare we say, "Surge") is not needed.

Unless the actual goal is to completely eliminate the Taliban.  They are indeed a hateful bunch in so many ways, but the fact of the matter is that they have become, to a significant degree, an expression of nationalist resistance (be it Afghan nationalism or, perhaps more likely, Pashtun ethnic nationalism) against foreign occupiers.  Inserting tens of thousands more US forces is not going to defeat or eliminate them, just as inserting hundreds of thousands US forces into South Vietnam neither eliminated the Viet Cong nor brought Vietnam into the US's political orbit.

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