Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In other news, we will be in Afghanistan forever

Obama is set to announce an increase of up to 34,000 troops in Afghanistan. There are really no good options in Afghanistan but at least we could have chosen one that won't get as many people killed and cost as much as this will. Some questions to ponder:

1. How will pouring in more foreign troops end the civil war between Pashtuns and the northern tribes? Um, it won't.

2. How will this stabilize Pakistan? Um, it'll probably make Pakistan less stable.

3. How will this strengthen the central government in a country that basically has no central government and hasn't basically forever? Um, it won't.

4. How will it improve Pashtun representation in a government the Pashtuns think has no legitimacy? Um, it won't.

5. How will this solve the problem that we're allied with the country that backs our Pashtun Taliban enemies (Pakistan) and about to buckle down with more sanctions against the country that backs our Northern Alliance friends (Iran)? Um, it won't.

6. How will this improve transparency, infrastructure and livability in a country that's #2 on the world corruption index and #1 on the "sucks to be born there" index? Um, I don't see how it will do that either.

The only decent thing about the plan is that it contains "off-ramps," according to the articles I've read, for when -- ahem, if -- it doesn't work. I suppose that's better than nothing.

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