Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Afghanistan: A Reason (or an Excuse) to Bug Out

Abu Muqawama on September 8th:
Before the Afghan elections, every assessment you could read and every opinion you could solicit from policy-makers was the same: the worst outcome of the Afghan elections would be one that, in either the first or second round of voting, delivered the election to Hamid Karzai with a narrow margin of victory amidst wide-spread allegations of corruption and ballot box-stuffing. The overwhelming fear was of "another Iran" -- only with our fingerprints all over it.

The worst-case scenario now appears to have been realized.
And then, a day later:
When people look back on the Afghanistan war, this might be the moment when historians will judge we should have cut the cord on the Afghan government. If we believe Generals McChrystal and Petraeus, and we believe a counterinsurgency campaign to represent our best chance of success in Afghanistan, then we have a big problem. Because if we believe what we ourselves have learned about counterinsurgency campaigns, we understand that we cannot be successful in one if the host nation government is seen as increasingly illegitimate -- and that's what the Karzai government is.
Add to that this article which suggests that things are getting dicey between the Taliban and al Qaeda, and we may have something.

We may have an exit being marked.

Both sides would have to throw their erstwhile allies under the bus: We have to abandon Karzai and the Taliban has to abandon al Qaeda and any support for other terrorist groups, such as the home-grown ones in Pakistan that have made the Swat Valley a mess and who are trying to gin up a war between Pakistan and India.

Of course, it won't be that overt. The Taliban would likely feed good targeting information to the CIA. A series of Hellfire missiles will complete the decapitation of al Qaeda. Some heavily-laundered payments will find their way into Taliban-controlled accounts. 200 years ago, an emissary would bring a basket to Kabul with the heads of bin Ladin and al-Zawahiri inside, but the drones can do the dirty work nowadays.

Most of Karzai's senior staff have stolen enough money by now that they can have a leisurely retirement in some French city. Karzai will either stay behind, proclaiming that he is the president of Afghanistan and he'll be executed, or he can leave with the American troops and take a "wingnut welfare" no-show job with the Heritage Foundation.[1]

This could work.

[1] Of course, the Republicans will bleat for the next fifty or so years that "the Democrats sold out Afghanistan", but fuck them.


montag said...

Even if the Taliban merely let us buy them off with foreign aid or a little old fashioned baksheesh, the savings in lives alone would be worth every penny and more.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Fuck what the Republicans say.
They've been wrong about everything in the last decade, so who cares what they think?

Anonymous said...

That could work, if people would be rational about it.

(And it's bad that when I say that I'm not worrying so much about the fundamentalists as being the more likely to be unreasonable.)