Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Our Wobbly War on Terror

With President Bush's would-be successors squabbling over Iraq, they are neglecting the main threat of terror that will face one of them taking office next January.

In Pakistan, Musharraf is on his way out as leaders of the two dominant parties agree to reinstate the judges he fired and try to strip him of crucial powers.

"Afghanistan is slipping toward failure," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden warns. "The Taliban is back, violence is up, drug production is booming and the Afghans are losing faith in their government. All the legs of our strategy--security, counter-narcotics efforts, reconstruction and governance--have gone wobbly."

The schedule of staying or going in Iraq is dominating the foreign policy debate in the presidential campaign, but Pakistan and Afghanistan are becoming more urgent.

"If we should have had a surge anywhere," Sen. Biden wrote last week in the New York Times, "it is Afghanistan...In six years, we have spent on Afghanistan’s reconstruction only what we spend every three weeks on military operations in Iraq."

The border area between the two countries, according to Biden is "a freeway of fundamentalism: the Taliban and Al Qaeda find sanctuary in Pakistan, while Pakistani suicide bombers wreak havoc in Afghanistan."

The Bush-Cheney strategy of relying on Musharraf's unreliable assurances about rooting them out is collapsing, but this Administration is unlikely to face that fact.

Biden sums it up: "The next president will have to rally America and the world to 'fight them over there unless we want to fight them over here.' The 'over there' is not, as President Bush has claimed, Iraq, but rather the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan."

Voters should be pressing Sens. McCain, Clinton and Obama to tell them what they are going to do about that.

1 comment:

J.Albesa said...

I respectfully disagree with your assumption that the US is neglecting the main threat of terror facing them. Even if the Taliban is back and violence is up? who are we to to do anything to stop this? We are not the world police.