Thursday, May 07, 2009

Afghanistan another Iraq?

It's hard to know from the news stories just what transpired in today's -- well, yesterday's now, I guess -- confab among Obama and the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan, except that it wasn't as warm as they all tried to pretend and was overshadowed by more Afghan deaths in a U.S. airstrike. That'll win hearets and minds.

Here's the Register's editorial Monday urging what we have for a long time -- recognizing that the Taliban and al-Qaida are separate entities, that al-Qaida, to the extent it still exists, is the only real potential threat to America. Thus our interest in Afghanistan is not nation-building or "spreading democracy" to a place that has little interest in it, but being sure that al-Qaida doesn't establish bases there. We should pull the military out, wish the Afghans well, and tell whatever government emerges that if al-Qaida establishes itself there we'll blow them to kingdom come and might or might not give Kabul five minutes warning.

As for Pakistan -- another post when I'm not so tired. The key thing is that making the government there more dependent on the U.S. through vastly expanded aid isn't good for Pakistan or the U.S.

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