The state of the Afghanistan occupation

| June 27, 2010 | 2 Replies

Frank Rich sums it up at the New York Times, provoked by Michael Hastings excellent journalism at Rolling Stone:

The war, supported by a steadily declining minority of Americans, has no chance of regaining public favor unless President Obama can explain why American blood and treasure should be at the mercy of this napping Afghan president. Karzai stole an election, can’t provide a government in or out of a box, and has in recent months threatened to defect to the Taliban and accused American forces of staging rocket attacks on his national peace conference. Until last week, Obama’s only real ally in making his case was public apathy. Next to unemployment and the oil spill, Karzai and Afghanistan were but ticks on our body politic, even as the casualty toll passed 1,000. As a senior McChrystal adviser presciently told Hastings, “If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular.”

Why are we in Afghanistan? I haven’t yet heard anything other than vague metaphors. According to the White House,

So make no mistake: We have a clear goal. We are going to break the Taliban’s momentum. We are going to build Afghan capacity. We are going to relentlessly apply pressure on al Qaeda and its leadership, strengthening the ability of both Afghanistan and Pakistan to do the same.

Apply pressure on al Qaeda? Give me a break. According to the CIA, there are fewer than 50 al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

As far as “breaking the momentum” of the Taliban, consider this retort by Jon Stewart, beginning at minute 4:

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In more recent news, say goodbye to $3 billion of our tax dollars, freely walking out of Afghanistan. Not that you’ll ever prosecute corruption under Hamid Karzai:

Top officials in President Hamid Karzai’s government have repeatedly derailed corruption investigations of politically connected Afghans, according to U.S. officials who have provided Afghanistan’s authorities with wiretapping technology and other assistance in efforts to crack down on endemic graft.

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Category: Current Events, Military, Politics, The Middle East, Uncategorized, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich and his wife, Anne Jay, live in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where they are raising their two extraordinary daughters.

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