4 years, 6 months ago
The Obama Administration and its Statist Media enablers have been bravely trying their best to disguise the unfolding calamity that is Afghanistan today.
A few weeks back we had the Administration crowing about a “strategic agreement” that had been signed by the U.S. and Afghan governments, even though that agreement did not provide any specifics about the type or level of commitment Afghanistan would receive from the U.S. It was simply an empty agreement to someday come to a specific agreement. Maybe.
CHICAGO — President Obama was struggling to balance the United States’ relationship with two crucial but difficult allies on Sunday, after a deal to reopen supply lines through Pakistan to Afghanistan fell apart just as Mr. Obama began talks on ending the NATO alliance’s combat role in the Afghan war.
American officials said the main sticking point was the amount NATO would pay for each truck carrying supplies from Karachi, on Pakistan’s Arabian Sea coast, to the Afghan border. Before the closing, the payment per truck was about $250. Pakistan is now asking for “upward of $5,000” for each truck, another American official said.
Considering the huge proportion of supplies that had previously flowed through Pakistan to U.S. forces in Afghanistan, this is no small matter.
The fact that Pakistan is now demanding twenty times the previous amount for each truck is an obvious non-starter and shows just how hostile the Pakistanis are at this point.
In the NYT article by David Sanger, Obama is playing a political game with the lives of U.S. forces:
By early 2011, Mr. Obama had seen enough. He told his staff to arrange a speedy, orderly exit from Afghanistan. This time there would be no announced national security meetings, no debates with the generals. Even Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton were left out until the final six weeks.
The key decisions had essentially been made already when Gen. David H. Petraeus, in his last months as commander in Afghanistan, arrived in Washington with a set of options for the president that called for a slow withdrawal of surge troops. He wanted to keep as many troops as possible in Afghanistan through the next fighting season, with a steep drop to follow. Mr. Obama concluded that the Pentagon had not internalized that the goal was not to defeat the Taliban. He said he “believed that we had a more limited set of objectives that could be accomplished by bringing the military out at a faster clip,” an aide reported.
After a short internal debate, Mr. Gates and Mrs. Clinton came up with a different option: end the surge by September 2012 — after the summer fighting season, but before the election. Mr. Obama concurred. But he was placing an enormous bet: his goals now focus largely on finishing off Al Qaeda and keeping Pakistan’s nuclear weapons from going astray. Left unclear is how America will respond if a Taliban resurgence takes over wide swathes of the country America invaded in 2001 and plans to largely depart 13 years later.
None of this is a surprise to TCJ readers. There has never been a doubt that Obama was essentially going through the motions in Afghanistan. Nonetheless, it is surprising to see the Statist flagship paper stating it so plainly.