October 27, 2009

THE NICE THING ABOUT THE ANGLOSPHERE...:

Britain Resolves, U.S. Wavers (ROGER COHEN, 10/27/09, NY Times)

Special relationships are forged in blood; the U.S.-British bond is no exception. So, as President Obama hesitates, his decision on American troop levels ever “weeks away” as the weeks pass, the British view of the war offers as good an indication as any of what Obama will do. An hour-long conversation with David Miliband, the British foreign secretary, suggests reinforcements are on the way.

When I asked if the mission needed substantially more troops, Miliband said, “What I think that you can see from the prime minister’s strategy is that we believe in serious counterinsurgency. Counterinsurgency is a counterterrorist strategy.”

He continued: “The Taliban has shown what it means to provide safe space for Al Qaeda.” Describing the fights against the Taliban and Al Qaeda as “distinctive but related missions,” Miliband said “the badlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan are the incubator of choice for international terrorism,” adding that, “Ceding ground happened in the ’90s and then we all know what happened.”

That’s a clear rebuttal of the ever-larger school, most often identified with Vice President Joe Biden, advancing the view that Al Qaeda is the real threat, the Taliban much less of one; and so the United States should not commit more military resources to a nation-building struggle in Afghanistan that’s an expensive diversion from core U.S. strategic interests.

Wrong. Counterinsurgency in the “Af-Pak” theater is indeed a counterterrorist strategy.


...is that our brothers can step in and lead from time to time.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 27, 2009 6:13 AM
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