COLUMN: For sure, don’t waste more of your time, the taxpayers’ money, or more American lives in this no-win quagmire! President Obama is up to his eyeballs, to say the least, about what to do with Afghanistan. No matter which option he considers, they all have their very dire inhibiting consequences. If he was George W. Bush or most any leading Republican, the reaction to the generals’ request for a greater commitment to the war would be quick and easy: Give the generals what they want!
But in Obama, for better or worst, we do not have a President who is driven by an impractical ideology that, against all dictates of sound reason, will say, “Somehow, get and use what you must to fight evil; never mind the cost. You can always beg, borrow, or steal the cost later if it turns out to be higher than what you know you got or going to get to spend.”
In Obama, we have instead a President whose inherent and consistently unwavering rational nature prevents him from taking the simplistic, but foolhardy path that all impractical ideologists find easy to walk in. Unfortunately, and on the other hand, Obama’s high degree of rationality here works against him; it is causing critical delays in decision-making on his part. Because of the apparent indecisiveness this projects, Obama’s critics rail against him; they see it as a kind of mental paralysis.
But to his comfort, Obama’s supporters put out the spin that Obama is just taking the necessary time he must take as a sensible and rational person seeking to find an option that will not result in making worse the already existing unbearable deficits America is enduring and suffering, both in money and human lives lost in war. Not only this, but any way Obama decides, based on present options, none of these options offers a guarantee of successful results for both Afghanistan and America to justify the unbearable American sacrifices already made and to be made.
There is no doubt that if America were able to throw into Afghanistan such an overwhelming number of troops, as well as other resources needed, to overcome and defeat the enemy, a win could possibly be guaranteed. Afghanistan then, corruption and all, could be saved. But the trade-off to this is an equal guarantee that an America already weakened and on its way to destruction would surely get finally destroyed and sunk into a deeper hole than it already is.
So here’s the broad, simple view of Obama’s basic dilemma:
1. Obama seems to have bought into the idea that to abandon Afghanistan means, invariably, to let the Taliban insurgents win and to once again see Al Qaeda establish a base in Afghanistan from which this Al Qaeda can again plot destruction, particularly on the United States and Europe. For this reason, Obama refuses to see abandoning Afghanistan as an option.
2. But this view is directly in conflict with what Obama knows well America is able to afford in terms of money and American lives lost. In other words, as tragic as it is and surely must sound, simply and bluntly stated, America cannot afford NOT abandoning Afghanistan, however much Obama, his European friends, and other Americans may desire to avoid this.
3. So Obama the inveterate rationalist struggles to find a rational solution to a non-rational problem in radical Muslim religion. This problem that stems from radical Muslim religion is a problem that irremediably defies a rational solution and actually makes any rational solution impossible. This impossibility of a rational solution tragically also makes, at the same time, NOT abandoning Afghanistan a viable option.
4. So what should America do? Actually, the solution to Obama’s dilemma is so obvious and straightforward, Obama’s learned advisers, to their shame, should have come up with it immediately, without even considering or wasting much time discussing any other option. So here it is: the only realistic, sensible, rational, and reasonable solution that is open to Obama to get America out of this whole quagmire of Afghanistan is to decide what up to now may have been unthinkable, or, at least, largely unmentionable, that is, Obama must cut and stop any further American losses which it can ill-afford to continue to endure in Afghanistan. As diplomatically negotiable, as prudent, and as easy as is possible for all concerned, Obama must abandon America’s efforts to save and establish Afghanistan free from the Taliban.
Does this mean America will ultimately have to accept the much feared reconstitution of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan? Not necessarily. Abandoning Afghanistan as a result of American limited resources will not be done from an American position of total weakness, or from a total, unconditional capitulation, and abject surrender, as was the case with Japan and Germany at the end of World War II. America may be weak from being drained by the prolonged wars it has been fighting and the Great Recession it is now enduring, but America will not be left, under any circumstance, totally without resources that can be marshaled to strike and bite hard on any potential enemy.
What does this mean? It means that American and NATO air surveillance and air power will always be available to deter any threat of a reconstituted Al Qaeda. The same resources as well can be employed as a threat to any conceivable and reconstituted Taliban-dominated Afghan state whenever such a state is seen working to create a threat to Western security interests. Such a state would be forewarned of this. The Taliban have already tasted the brutal, devastating force of the American air power that decisively put an end to their previous rule in Afghanistan. America and its NATO allies can bomb, even nuke if necessary, such a conceivable new Taliban-dominated state into an uninhabitable wasteland to protect the rights of the Western world to exist in peace.
So here’s your Afghanistan solution Mr. President Obama; it’s very concise, simple, and straightforward. If you decide anything else that will only make this country sink deeper into the hole it’s already in, don’t blame me and say I didn’t tell you what you gotta do.