Friday, June 13, 2008


I'm currently reading 'The Great Game - The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia' by Peter Hopkirk. I can't recommend it more highly, it's well written and the subject matter, the struggle between Britain and Russia during the 1800s for control of Central Asia, has great characters and a great story.

I've just finished the harrowing account of the British disaster in Afghanistan in 1841, so that was on my mind when I just heard about the attack on and mass escape from the prison in Kandahar. Hundreds of Taliban escaped, and will now rejoin the fight.

Iraq, for the US at least, is worse, but only because the resources applied in Afghanistan are much more limited. Iraq is hopeless in the long run, but Afghanistan is hopeless in the short run, the long run, in any run. The longer NATO stays there, the more likely it is that Pakistan will disintegrate, the other 'stans will be drawn in, and all to no avail. You would think that the Russian experience in the 80s would serve as a warning, but you don't get the title Feckless Leader for nothing. The other idiots in NATO have compromised their way into this situation to placate the US, now they're stuck, but good.

It would be encouraging if Obama and other Dems would realize this, but Afghanistan remains for them 'the good war' compared to Iraq. That way they can oppose Iraq and still look fierce and warlike. On the contrary, it's much more dangerous in many ways, and 'success' is a pipe dream.

Negotiate your way out now, NATO. There is no better choice.


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