Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Trying to wrap my head around the mind-set that has resulted in last night's dramatically pronounced new American Afghan strategy, I get to thinking analogically.
Let us shift the setting to an inner city neighbourhood rotten with punk gangs running protection schemes. In the parlance, they own the 'hood. A new savvy, good-talkin' police chief is hired and after much deliberation and amidst great pomp and circumstance announces how he's going to fix things.
He says he will be tripling the number of police in the 'hood for 18 months. the baddies will be hunted down like dogs and neutralized if not neutered; and meanwhile, he will collaborate with one particular gang, build up their capabilities and then pull all the cops out of the area once and for all. The police chief warns the leader of his chosen thug allies that if they aren't able to subdue the even nastier groups within this time frame, he's still going to yank out all the flatfoots come hell or high water. That should make the living easy for the hapless civvies especially women and free-thinkers!
Now imagine yourself head honchos of the targeted gangs. You know the place'll be crawling with cops for a year and half. No biggie. Keep your head down, bide your time, and get set for all the post July 2011 fireworks reunion with the homeys.
And the moral? It may sound great sitting in the Oval Office to spout tough-sounding guidelines and timetables but any Taliban and Al-Qaeda with half a brain -- and they have shown that intelligence is not their short suit - is just going to hang in there and prepare to take back the whole country when America's half-hearted, half-baked and half-assed strategy implodes.