After 52 days, it is starting to look like President Obama wcould roll back America’s strategic place in the world faster than anyone since Napoleon fled from Moscow to Paris.
Obama has established himself as the outreach and diplomacy president in a world that mostly understands thunder and power.
And General David Petraeus says more U.S. troops and power are not the solution in Afghanistan anyway.
Gen. Petraeus: No Iraq-style surge in Afghanistan
As North Korea threatened to both launch a long range missile and go to war this week, the White House almost shrugged and said “never mind.” Spokesmen even said the U.S. had no intention of shooting the North Korean missile down. This after America’s commander in the Pacific, Admiral Keating, said his boys WOULD shoot it down.
Finally, Japan has said in disgust it would shoot the darned thing down.
Hillary Clinton, already the subject of talk for a bone-headed gift to her Russian equal, Mr. Lavrov, said the U.S. “had a lot of options” with North Korea.
With China sparking an at sea incident; Washington gave the same kind of response. The strategic yawn.
The U.S. is even rolling back on its human rights criticisms of China — just as China is expressing doubts at buying more U.S. debt.
While these shrugs and yawns may be appropriate, the situation in Afghanistan, where the president is adding troops and lowering expectations and goals, is troubling.
A key air bas, Manas, in Kyrgyzstan is already apparently lost in a move by Russia.
Analysts: Russia outmaneuvered U.S. over air base
Terrorist Taliban forces now surround Kabul, and Afghan government sources say the city could be under seige “at any time.”
Moin Ansari says on his web site, “The US is leaving Afghanistan. Only the details of the withdrawal and the schedule of the return is to announced. A massive campaign will be launched to obfuscate the defeat with face saving measures like the ones implemented in Iraq.”
As for Afghanistan, Mr. Ralph Peters, once a “Surger,” is now an “Exiter“.
Mr. Peter’s four possibilities can be listed as choices between an exit strategy or a hasty retreat after the defeat. We see it as follows:
1) Plan an exist strategy and leave with dignity now or
2) Wait for the Taliban to run over Karzai’s forbidden city
The ranks of the “Exiters” from Afghanistan is surging because of several interlinked factors—the economy and China. Both are inter-related and the dependencies weigh heavy on the White House. Why the US gave up India as a Strategic partner? Without China’s help, the USA cannot sustain the bailouts or hope for a recovery. China is willing to give the US a reprieve, but may have a couple of strings attached. China will exact a price. It seems that Beijing at this point will require a pullout from Afghanistan and the resolution of Kashmir. We have always considered Kashmir as the silent “K” in Holbrooke’s mission. India’s worst nightmares come true: Long term strategic malaise in a changing world . The People’s Daily leaves no doubt that the resolution of Kashmir is not simply a “nice to have” on the “wish list” of Mr. Holbrooke–it a mandated requirement-China’s pound of flesh for agreeing to buy American T-Bonds. India feels the pain: The US begs Beijing for money
Pakistan’s turmoil continues and if Afghanistan falls, Pakistan will likely follow….
Military chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani urged Pakistan’s President Zardari to agree to some demands of protesters, in the first insertion of the military into the government in over a year.
Pakistan Military Chief Pushes President to Yield to Demonstrators’ Demands
The new Obama plan reportedly calls for more effort from Pakistan to fight Taliban and al-Qaeda forces; which seems impossible given the internal politics of Pakistan at present….
The war on “terror” is verbally and virtually over…
Obama bans term “enemy combatant,” joins “terrorist” in unusable list
Obama Backs-Off On Human Rights Issues: Economy is That Important
Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile
Obama’s Poll Numbers Are Falling to Earth
China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S
Pakistan: Circling The Drain?
U.S. Urges Calm inPakistan:
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Security in Afghanistan has deteriorated and may worsen this year in the face of a renewed Taliban insurgency, the U.N. chief said in a report published Friday.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his latest report to the Security Council on U.N. activities in Afghanistan that 2009 would be a critical year. He added there were reasons for medium-term optimism.
“The government, security forces and population of Afghanistan, along with its international partners, face a critical test in 2009,” the report said.
“Security has continued to deteriorate. The results of government and international aid efforts have fallen short of popular expectations as Afghans suffer the effects of drought and a global rise in food prices.”
Violence is at its highest level in Afghanistan since U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban in late 2001.
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By ANNE GEARAN and ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writers
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration expects to announce new objectives for the flagging war in Afghanistan as soon as next week that place an onus on next-door Pakistan to contain extremism, defense and administration officials said Thursday.
The White House objectives were expected to roughly parallel 15 goals contained in a 20-page classified report to the White House from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Among them were getting rid of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan and adopting a regional approach to reducing the threat of terrorism and extremism in both countries.
“We’re just about done,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said in an interview with PBS’ “The Charlie Rose Show” on Thursday.
The review addresses “the safe haven in Pakistan, making sure that Afghanistan doesn’t provide a capability in the long run or an environment in which al-Qaida could return or the Taliban could return,” Mullen said, as well as the need for stability, economic development and better governance in Afghanistan, and the development of the Afghan armed forces.
An administration official said that although the review was not complete, one thrust was that Pakistan needed to recognize that combating extremism was in its own interest as well as that of U.S.- and NATO fighting forces across the border in Afghanistan. The official, like others interviewed for this story, spoke on condition of anonymity because the review was not complete.
President Barack Obama was expected to explain the redrawn U.S. objectives to NATO allies when he attends a NATO summit in Europe next month.
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