Obama Wants To Escalate In Afghanistan
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In September 2001, I advocated overthrowing the Afghan government in punishment but not trying to transform the country as well (arguing my case in the guise of a review of "The Man Who Would Be King"). Remind me again, though, what exactly are we doing there seven years later that we've now got to do more of it, according to Senator Obama?

From the Washington Post:

Sen. Barack Obama, on his first and likely only overseas trip as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has remade the campaign's foreign policy playing field, neatly sidestepping Republican charges that he has been naive and wrong on Iraq and moving to a broader, post-Iraq focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan. ... Chief among them, he said, are the "need to refocus attention on Afghanistan and to go after the Taliban, including putting more troops on the ground, and to put more pressure on Pakistan to deal with the safe havens of terrorists."
Do we have any sort of offer on the table to the Taliban (e.g., hand over Osama and Mullah Omar and change your name to something else, and we'll go home and let you locals duke it out in your time-honored manner)? Or is it our national grand strategy to be screwing around in Afghanistan until the whole place finally calms down, which will be the day after the sun explodes in 5,000,000,000 AD? (Your Lying Eyes argues the case for Afghan Ennui here.)

And do we really have any clue what to do with Pakistan? The last thing I remember was everyone in the U.S. media announcing, right after Benazir Bhutto's assassination, that the whole place was about to explode in chaos. But then it more or less didn't, at least compared to how chaotic it normally is. So, does Obama have some special insight into how Pakistan works (perhaps from spending a couple of weeks there 25 years ago?), or is he as clueless as, apparently, everybody else in America is about the place?

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