Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Afghanistan/Pakistan: Obama settles on escalation

Dday at Digby's Hullabaloo blog calls it More Troops For The Graveyard Of Empires. Obama has announced he's decided to escalate the war in Afghanistan: Obama Approves Plan to Boost Troop Levels in Afghanistan by Ann Scott Tyson Washington Post Online 02/17/09.

And so far as I'm seeing, there doesn't seem to be any actual new strategy beyond some variation of The Surge of 2007-8 in Iraq.

Meanwhile, our allies - or is Pakistan soon to be our enemy? - seem to be taking their own approaches: Pakistan officials allow Sharia in volatile region by Zulfiqar Ali and Laura King Los Angeles Times 02/17/09.

And is Afghan President Hamid Karzai about to go the route of Nho Dihn Diem and other former American friends who became inconvenient or tiresome? Juan Cole reports (Informed Comment 02/15/09):

Afghan President Hamid Karzai tells Aljazeera that he has not spoken to President Barack Obama since the latter was sworn in in January. It seems clear that the Obama team views Karzai as a Bush crony who is personally corrupt and ineffective, and are willing to risk bad realtions [sic] in order to push the Afghan elite to adopt new policies.
Wow! Obama's starting on a new and likely open-ended escalation of the Afghanistan War, and he not even talking to the Afghan President directly? If Karzai's claim is true, something not very pleasant for him must be in the air. And in the Afghanistan War, that could be literally "in the air".

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