An op-ed from The Guardian about Obama/McChrystal and whether the US should send more troops into Afghanistan.
General Stanley McChrystal has all but admitted defeat in Afghanistan. Unless he gets an additional 40,000 troops, the game is up. Unusually for a commanding officer in the middle of a war, the US commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan has gone public with his thoughts. Equally unusual, he is pleading for a “new strategy“. His appeal falls on strangely deaf American ears. Polls confirm that more than half of the US public have no interest in staying on in Afghanistan. Barack Obama, who had begun his presidency emphasising the importance of Afghanistan and Pakistan, appears increasingly like an articulate but absent–minded professor. He needs to be a much more involved commander-in-chief. His Nato partners are already wobbling and will soon increase pressure to pull out troops altogether.
The enormous cost of losing in Afghanistan is yet to dawn on the American public. Should the US and Nato withdraw, neighbouring regional powers such as Russia, China and Iran will rush to fill the vacuum. None of them will be friendly to US interests in the region. Pakistanis who already harbour considerable resentment towards America, feeling much like jilted lovers, may be pushed over the brink into fully fledged anti-Americanism. It is well to remind ourselves that Pakistan is nuclear.
To continue reading the article, please click here.
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Tagged afghanistan, Akbar Ahmed, China, iran, Islam, McChrystal, NATO, Obama, Pakistan, Pashtun, Religion, Russia, War on terror
We hope everyone has been enjoying a great holiday season. We have, but we’re back now researching , making travel plans and preparing for the next trip.
When we were in San Diego, we had the chance to take part in a special Christmas project: writing letters to troops stationed in Afghanistan to go along with a Christmas care package.
We wanted to extend our wishes of peace to all– the soldiers, the citizens of Afghanistan, Americans and non-Americans. For me, the most important part of Christmas is the message of Jesus–love and compassion. “Love your neighbor” means everyone.
It was a hard letter to write. Really hard. What do you say? We’ve never met these Soldiers before, we don’t know anything about them. As Frankie said in the video, we don’t know what age they are. Just their first names. It really made us think about the soldiers and how much they sacrifice in a time when everyone should be with their families. But the soldiers are not the only ones who have sacrificed; the people of Afghanistan have suffered for 7 years during this war.
We have a saying on the team when someone is struggling with the extensive travel or long days: Stop Whining. We would do well to remember the troops in Afghanistan and people suffering all over the world-in Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq, Sudan, Israel and on and on–when we are tired or grumpy on the road.
Here’s a video from San Diego when we were writing the letters.
Please see Frankie’s excellent article on the Huffington Post on the “War on Terror” in Afghanistan: “Obama Must Learn to Play Cricket”
Also, Ambassador Ahmed is speaking today at The Cato Institute at 11:00 on “Afghanistan: Seven Years Later”. You can watch the event live in RealAudio by clicking here.
More videos and writing to come in the next few weeks. We are still recovering from the marathon west coast trip and planning for our next destination: Dixie
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Tagged afghanistan, Akbar Ahmed, Cato, Dixie, frankie martin, huffington post, Islam, Obama, President, Religion, War on terror