Why The Neutralist? The term Isolationist implies a narrow Fortress America outlook and is used as an epithet. The term Neutralist does not indicate someone hiding out from the world. No one calls the Swiss isolationists. The Wilsonian world view is old, tired and wrong. Our interventions have been less and less successful and now the failure can no longer be covered up.
Friday, September 05, 2008
Did we just lose the war in Afghanistan?
Shakespearean actor, Jim Varney was known for his character, Ernest. I remember seeing a t-shirt with Ernest's image and the question, "Do I look like I have stupid written on my forehead?" If anyone running American foreign policy were to ask me that question, the answer would not be in doubt.
Timesonline reports that the Russians are pulling out of an agreement to allow us to resupply in Afghanistan through Russia. I had not been aware of that agreement, but it certainly helps illustrate how stupid bugging Russia over Georgia and Ukraine is.
So Cheney goes to Georgia the other day and presents a blank check.
Now what would I do if I were Putin or Medvedev . The question is not as easy as it seems. The first reaction would be "No more gas to Europe or supplies to Afghanistan unless you stop bugging us." I don't think the Russians want to provoke an extreme reaction. Besides, every day we spend frittering away our strength in Afghanistan is a costless victory for Russia if they are in a contest with us. It is win win for them. We degrade and more hostile people in a hostile country on their border are killed.
I suspect the Russians will play it out with subtlety. In the current presidential silliness, we are debating who has more experience, Palin, Obama, blah blah blah. The man who has experience where it counts is Putin.
Just how important is the Russian route agreement of 2007, per the August 26, 2008 Timesonline article, you judge,
the Taleban have been targeting the supply routes of the alliance this year, mimicking tactics used against the British in 1841 and the Soviet Union two decades ago. Nato imports about 70 per cent of its food, fuel, water and equipment from Pakistan via the Khyber Pass, and flies in much of the rest through Russian airspace via bases in Central Asia.
The Blogger, Albert E. of Military Analysis points up seriousness of the problem,
The Taliban have been attacking the Main Supply Route [MSR] from Karachi, through the Khyber Pass, to Kabul. This HAS BEEN AN ON-GOING THREAT, AND HAS NOW MATERIALIZED, JUST AS I FEARED!!
The villains have gotten it into their head that this is a do-able strategy that can reap great rewards. The single MSR supplies currently 70 % of the re-supply for NATO forces in Afghan. If that life-line is cut or severely interrupted, NATO is in deep doo-doo [skat/merde'/etc.]!
Attacks on the MSR have already included:
* "one [attack] that destroyed 36 fuel tankers"
* "Four US helicopter engines worth $13 million (£7 million) went missing [pilfered]"
* "militants killed ten French soldiers on the same route"
The road, and the narrow-gauge [?] rail link from Pakistan to Kabul must be kept open. Cannot be jeopardized even slightly. NATO forces would have to face the consequences if this life-line is cut. Mission in Afghan would rapidly become untenable. American and allied forces would have beat feet, and quick.
But how? And to where? Contingency plans are on the table and being constantly reviewed!!
An Imperialist or if you wish a Benevolent Interventionist policy will always come a cropper.