Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Afghanistan-Iraq-Iran: A three-front war?

Arnaud de Borchgrave raises an interesting calculus:

The temptation for Obama to double down on Iran will grow rapidly as he concludes that Afghanistan will remain a festering sore as far as anyone can peer into a murky future, hardly a recipe for success at the polls in November. With a war in Afghanistan, which is bound to get worse, and a military theater in Iraq replete with sectarian violence, the bombing of Iran may give Obama a three-front war -- and a chance to retain both houses of Congress.
(And along these lines, be sure to check out this recent essay from the Leveretts.)

But then, as Iran retaliates - e.g., against oil supplies through the Straits of Hormuz (You think you saw a recession before?), against US troops in Iraq (and perhaps against Iraqi politicians deemed too cooperative with the US?) - then what about his re-election chances in 2012?

And as the "Arab street" across the Middle East reacts to the US's bombing and slaughtering of even more Muslims?  What are the prospects then for US "allies" like Mubarak in Egypt, or Abdullah in Jordan, or even Abdullah in Saudi Arabia?

And what about the legacy then of our shiny-bright president himself?  Remember him?  The one who was going to get the US out of Iraq in good shape, and limit the US's time and expense in Afghanistan, and reassure the Muslim world that the US is indeed not ought to wage an endless Crusade?

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