THE BLOG

Confusionstan: Afghan Policy? Depends Who You Ask When

05/25/2011 02:55 pm ET

Sen. Richard Lugar, a ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee said yesterday that he would like to know why "we are choosing the battlefield [Afghanistan] where we will concentrate most of our available military resources... The risk is that we will expend tens of billions of dollars fighting in a strategically less important Afghanistan, while Taliban and al-Qaida leaders become increasingly secure in Pakistan." Here's the kicker: Sen. John Kerry, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and one of President Obama's closest advisers, agreed with Lugar. Kerry also said a few days ago on Charlie Rose that he personally favored a less troop intensive approach in Afghanistan but then added, "I think this can work." He thinks?

Then there was the curious tag team of Secretaries Clinton and Gates last Sunday on both Meet The Press and This Week calling the Karzai government in Afghanistan, "an organized crime syndicate." That's who we're sending 30,000 of our best to fight for against the insurgency -- the Afghan Mob.

When President Obama made his speech committing 30,000 troops to the Afghan War he immediately qualified it by saying we'd then start to remove them in a year and a half when the Afghan security forces were strong enough to take over. He just may have wanted to run that by Afghan President Hamid Karzai who a few days later said, "... maybe for another fifteen to twenty years Afghanistan will not be able to sustain a force of that nature and capability with it's own resources."

Yet more confusion from Sunday's interview with General McChrystal by Christiane Amanpour:

McChrystal: "... what we have to do is focus on the strategic partnership with Afghanistan for the long term. Don't think in terms of six months, eighteen months or a year, but the fact that the president and our other leadership has guaranteed Afghanistan that we are with them as partners... I think we are still about helping the Afghans secure themselves and over time build their own nation." Got all that? Not 18 months, we're in this "for the long term". We're not nation-building, we're helping them "build their own nation." Orwellian enough for you?

We're committing 30,000 troops to fight in Afghanistan, which many leaders including some of President Obama's own top advisers think is the wrong battlefield, but only for a year and a half though Hamid Karzai, President/Godfather of the crime syndicate says it will take at least ten times that long.

Remember the old bumper sticker, "One Nuclear Bomb Can Spoil Your Whole Day"? Well, here's the good news in Afghanistan: they don't have one nuclear bomb, so the Afghan Taliban insurgency can't spoil your day. Here's the bad news in Pakistan: the Pakistan Taliban insurgency could topple the weak Pakistani government, gain control of their WMDs and spoil your day plenty.