Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's the plan for the 'Stans?

SoS Clinton is off to Asia on her first diplomatic mission.
Somehow, I'd rather she'd have stayed home for a while longer... until some semblance of a coherent strategy could be devised - with her participation - for our future in Afghanistan and our related future relationship with Pakistan.

Three stories today call attention to the mess bequeathed by W:
UN says Afghan civilian deaths jumped 40 percent
By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press
17 Feb 2008
KABUL – The number of civilians killed in Afghanistan's worsening conflict jumped 40 percent to a new high last year, and more than half of the deaths were inflicted by Taliban insurgents and other militants, the United Nations said Tuesday.
[emphasis added]

NATO cautions Pakistan over truce with Taliban
By SHERIN ZADA, Associated Press
17 Feb 2009
MINGORA, Pakistan – NATO led a growing chorus of international concern Tuesday by warning that a truce between the government of Pakistan and Taliban militants in a restive region near the Afghan border risks giving the extremists a "safe haven."

Obama sending additional US troops to Afghanistan
By ANNE GEARAN and LARA JAKES, Associated Press
17 Feb 2009
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says he's sending additional U.S. troops into Afghanistan to battle insurgent threats and crumbling security along the Pakistan border.
What's the plan?

More than seven (7!) years after the U.S. toppled the Taliban in Afghanistan & enlisted Pakistan as an ally in the so-called "war on terror", we seem to be no nearer a satisfactory end-state than we were when we started.

Do we even know what a satisfactory end-state might be?

Again - I'd really like to see SoS Clinton huddled with SecDef Gates & Nat'l Security Advisor Jones to figure this out - not off to the Far East.

While I'm sure than Japan, Korea & China deserve attention, they seem far less worrisome to me right now than the mess in south central Asia.

No comments:

Post a Comment