Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Dead Man Walking
Gordon Brown is set to announce a major shift in strategy for Afghanistan, including a call for dialogue with the Taliban. That, coupled with the official British handover of Basra to Iraqi forces (read: Shiite militias) this Sunday, ought to put him fairly high on the Bush administration's shit list. But frankly, that's not the sort of thing people worry about anymore. Having just lived through the end of Chirac's second term, I can assure you that a year left in a "dead man walking" presidency is an awful long time. The major difference between Bush and Chirac being that Bush can still cause a lot of new problems, whereas Chirac just couldn't do anything to solve the old ones.
Beyond that, I've been wondering about the continued logic of the War in Afghanistan for a while now. The Taliban only posed a security threat to America insomuch as they harbored Al Qaeda training camps. In the aftermath of the initial invasion, regime change and a continued military presence to shore up the Karzai government seemed to make sense. But now that Al Qaeda has re-located to Pakistan and we've abandoned any pretense at nation-building, the Taliban no longer seem like the kind of menace that warrants a major American and NATO force commitment.