9:53 am, May 25, 2015

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  • Panetta's forthright - though contradictory - comments
    "The U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan is due to end in December 2014, but Panetta said the U.S. intends to have an enduring presence there. 'All this sends a very ... powerful message to al-Qaida ... and to the violent extremist groups who want to regain a safe haven in Afghanistan: We are not going anywhere ... our commitment to Afghanistan is long term, and you cannot wait us out." So, let's parse this odd melange of contradictions a bit. On the one hand, we're pulling out within a little more than two years, but, on the other, we're "not going anywhere" and will have "an enduring presence" there (though without "boots on the ground," one gathers), which in turn will somehow act as a deterrent on the Islamic terrorists. If I were a leader among the said terrorists, I would chalk this up primarily as bluster intended for U.S. domestic consumption rather than as a clear statement of future U.S. policy in Afghanistan - and in the meantime hunker down awaiting December 2014, confident that the corrupt Karzai regime will be easy pickings once their American prop is pulled from under them.
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