Wow, this is difficult. Should we believe the current administration, when they claim an end to the war on terror?
“The war on terror is over,” one senior State Department official who works on Mideast issues told me. “Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism.”
[typography font="Mate SC" size="20" size_format="px" color="#660000"]Polls show that only 11% of Americans believe this claim.[/typography]
So if there’s no terror to be stopped, then why are we abandoning our plans for a U.S. Consulate in Afghanistan because it’s too dangerous?
After signing a 10-year lease and spending more than $80 million on a site envisioned as the United States’ diplomatic hub in northern Afghanistan, American officials say they have abandoned their plans, deeming the location for the proposed compound too dangerous.
The structure’s outer perimeter wall is composed of sun-dried bricks made from mud, straw and manure, and the contractor used untreated timber for the roof, the memo says.
Have mercy. 80 MILLION for manure bricks? It may as well have been made with pixie dust.
Or is the Taliban stronger? Especially since obama has been turning some of the worst Taliban leaders loose in Afghanistan in an effort to… er… negotiate.
As the United States has unsuccessfully pursued a peace deal with the Taliban, the “strategic release” program has quietly served as a live diplomatic channel, allowing American officials to use prisoners as bargaining chips in restive provinces where military power has reached its limits.
This paragraph is a pitch perfect example of what is wrong with our lack of anything vaguely resembling a viable strategy in Afghanistan. Our military power has reached it’s limits because we posted our departure date on international TV and every media outlet on Earth two and a half years ago. The news spread all over the Af-Pak region so that even the most humble hamlet got a night letter from the Taliban informing the tribesfolk that playing nice w/ Uncle Sugar and the Karzai crime family could cost your head once the Americans bagged it. So our efforts to stabilize anyplace outside Kabul fell victim to the simple fact that the locals we needed to trust us trusted that the Taliban not us would be around for the long haul.
Our cunning plan to combat this seems to have been cutting loose the bad guys we have scarfed up in return for promises, and well in some cases nothing.
Read the entire post over at Blackfive. And here’s a tip: If you really want to know what’s going on, the milblogs are sometimes the best source for the continuing WoT, whatever obama wants to call it.