Well, personally, I am shocked, shocked.
In hindsight, several current and former administration officials say they have come to believe the decision to turn a blind eye to the warlords and drug traffickers who took advantage of the power vacuum in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks was one of the fundamental strategic mistakes of the Afghan war. It sent a signal to the Afghan people that the most corrupt warlords had the backing of the United States, that the Karzai government had no real power or credibility and that the drug economy was the path to power in the country.Yes, it is remarkable and tragic that backing the most corrupt Afghan warlords convinced the Afghan people that the US was supporting the most corrupt Afghan warlords. That's exactly the sort of cultural misunderstanding that constantly bedevils our necessary wars and humanitarian projects. If only the Afghan people understood what we were really trying to do instead of clinging to a limited understanding based only on the narrow category of what we are doing. How will we ever win the hearts and minds of such a mistrustful people?
By late 2003, officials said, the Bush administration began to realize its mistake, and initiated what officials called its “warlord strategy” to try to ease key warlords out of power.
What is America doing in Afghanistan again? I mean, does there exist any longer an official rationale for our war there? I keep hearing that The Obama is going to escalate the war there, and yet even those stock phrases that attend our Iraq occupation--stable, self-foverning, etc.--seem mostly absent from the present official discourse on The Other War, The Good War, The Necessary War, what have you.
Domino theories have always been popular with Democratic administrations, and it seems that the effort to deny Islamofascocializism a "safe haven" (By the way, America, can you please retire this redundancy? You ever hear of an unsafe haven?) is just a recapitulation of our various efforts to deny International Communism a foothold in Southeast Asia or Latin America or North Africa or whereverthefuckelse. Well, I suppose if we don't fight them in Afghanistan, we'll have to fight them in our our own backyard: Pakistan.