by Jack Hunter
Writes Pat Buchanan at Taki's Magazine:
"With 34,000 U.S. soldiers already in country, half under NATO command, the 20,000 will increase U.S. forces there to 54,000, a 60 percent ratcheting up. Shades of LBJ, 1964-65. Afghanistan is going to be Obama’s War. And upon its outcome will hang the fate of his presidency. Has he thought this through?
How do we win this war, if by winning we mean establishing a pro-Western democratic government in control of the country that has the support of the people and loyalty of an Afghan army strong enough to defend the nation from a resurgent Taliban?
We are further from that goal going into 2009 than we were five years ago.
What are the long-term prospects for any such success?
Militarily, the Taliban forces are stronger than they have been since 2001, moving out of the south and east and infesting half the country. They have sanctuaries in Pakistan and virtually ring Kabul.
U.S. air strikes have killed so many Afghan civilians that President Karzai, who controls little more than Kabul, has begun to condemn the U.S. attacks. Predator attacks on Taliban and al-Qaida in Pakistan have inflamed the population there.
And can pinprick air strikes win a war of this magnitude?
America, without debate, is about to invest blood and treasure, indefinitely, in a war to which no end seems remotely in sight, if the commanding general is talking about four years at least and the now-and-future war minister is talking about four decades.
What is there to win in Afghanistan to justify doubling down our investment?
Of all the lands of the earth, Afghanistan has been among the least hospitable to foreigners who come to rule, or to teach them how they should rule themselves.
Would Dwight D. Eisenhower--who settled for the status quo ante in Korea, an armistice at the line of scrimmage--commit his country to such an open-ended war? Would Richard Nixon? Would Ronald Reagan?
Hard to believe. George W. Bush would. But did not America vote against Bush? Why is America getting seamless continuity when it voted for significant change?"