As security worsens in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it is clear that al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies outwitted President George W. Bush and his neoconservative advisers by tying down U.S. forces in Iraq for five years while the Islamic militants rebuilt their forces for the war on their “central front.”
What might have been possible eight years ago – in rebuilding Afghanistan and winning the hearts and minds of many Afghans – has become almost impossible because of Bush’s “muddling through” strategy regarding what became “the forgotten war.”
Too bad Afghanistan doesn't have any oil. Then he'da had a 'strategy'. Yeesh.
Parry goes on to quote Captain Hoh at some length, whom I am sure we're all familiar as the first and hopefully not the last Foreign Service Officer to resign in order to publicly question the whole AfPak flusterpluck.
Yet while Capt. Hoh may have struggled to reach a painful personal decision, it is far from clear that senior U.S. officials and American opinion-makers have come to grips with an even more troubling realization: that President Bush and his neocon advisers committed the United States to two wars whose chances for success were crippled by ill-defined goals and ill-considered strategies.
Indeed, one of the most remarkable aspects of life in Washington today is how the neocons remain exceptionally influential. They keep their well-paid jobs at prestigious think tanks, write books for major publishing houses, and control key opinion columns in the Washington Post and, to a lesser degree, the New York Times.
Even now, as President Obama ponders what to do with the botched war in Afghanistan, the neocons bait him about alleged weakness and defeatism. Their allies in Congress, the likes of Sens. John McCain and Joe Lieberman, seem determined to undermine the Obama administration at every turn if the President doesn’t take the neocons' advice and escalate the war.
It seems that Official Washington can’t face up to its disastrous misjudgments over the past eight years.
Neither the pols nor the journos have a very good track record about admitting their colossal mistakes. Without that, nothing is going to change very quickly. When pigs fly.
I think we could make a good start by taking a few machine gun belts' worth of neocons out and shooting them. I volunteer to throttle the smarmy grin off Kristol's face myself to kick things off.