Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Good War

Belmont Club � Deep Moat: "However that may be, Borger asks his readers to step outside the inbred media world to consider the biggest damage inflicted by Woodward’s book: telling the Taliban in print just how anxious the President was to the cut and run. He writes:
The current strategy in Afghanistan is to turn up the pressure on the Taliban through the surge, while exploring the possibility of a settlement with the insurgents, shorn of their al-Qaida affiliates.

This strategy was sold to Obama, and he sold it in turn to his supporters, on the grounds that the surge would shorten the war. The strategy falls down if the Taliban leadership in the Quetta Shura – and its Afghan and Pakistani allies – become convinced that the presidential resolve is hollow and that they do not have long to wait before the foreigners leave.

One official involved in tentative contacts with the insurgents told me today: “They will say: If the Americans are that anxious to leave, why should we talk?”
But did the Taliban really need Woodward’s book to tell them that?"