Creating Allies and Enemies
The right wing is not really made up of warmongers, as the radical left and its pals in the entertainment and media fields would have the world believe. Where we advocate for military action without such provocation as makes war unequivocally necessary, it isn’t because we do not value the lives of foreign nationals, but because we see the threat to humanity of inaction as greater. In recent wars, we’ve also noted the benefit of freeing the people whom hostile regimes have oppressed, under the theory that stable democracies are less of a threat to the world than dictatorships. And with the reality of weapons of mass destruction, there isn’t much margin for error.
So it’s disheartening to read that President Obama may be considering the path of short-term ease:
… the debate goes deeper than the question of American troops. Obama has questioned whether the broad U.S. “counterinsurgency” strategy — improving government, combating corruption and economic development — is worth committing the extra troops such approaches require.
Following the chillingly dubbed “Biden Plan,” would actually be worse:
Rather than trying to protect the Afghan population from the Taliban, American forces would concentrate on strikes against al-Qaeda cells, primarily in Pakistan, using special forces, Predator missile attacks and other surgical tactics.
As a strategic matter, promising freedom to the native population was the key to pulling Iraq back from the brink of the dreaded quagmire. Even the infamous terrain of Afghanistan is not an inevitable repellent to foreign forces when they are fighting in harmony, rather than tension, with civilians. Periodic strikes from a distant superpower, even though the intention is to surgically extract an organization of terrorist thugs, will resonate among the people as a species of terrorism.
In balance against the oppressive Taliban regime asserting power domestically, al Qaeda will not appear to Afghans or Pakistanis as worth the regular disruption of American strikes (with the inevitable periodic misfire). Indeed, Islamofascists in the governments and their allies in the terrorist organization will have a propaganda bonanza.