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02 May 2012

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jonst

I would bet a Romney unit BHO will--aggressively-- "play the game" after the election. Why not? Nobody in power gets to quit the game. And the game? Keep the money/fear spigot (both ends, here in DC and all around the world) primed. Exactly what comes out of it...at what rate, for how long, at what pace, are interesting tactical issues. But, strategically, so long as it is primed and flowing...adjustments can be made down the road and gravy train can go "Forward". Who is left to opposed this mentality? Lefties that the Col occasionally shouts at? There is no Left left. Unless you mean cultural left. But the true Left, pale, sad, imitation that it has become, is cooked. Liberals? Moderates? They are on board the train...maybe begrudgingly, but they got the flag in their hands, defense contracts in their pockets, and they are thanking BHO...thinking he has solved their 'Dems are wimps' dilemma. HAAH! We, the nation, have crossed the Rubicon on this. Ya got a few dinosaurs on the Right...remnants of the old Taft Republicans. And a few McGovern liberals...waiting for the slots to open up in an assisted living facility. That is what stands behind the Establishment and the National Security State. The rest of the body politic? They are on board.

The Twisted Genius

This was a brilliant piece of political gamesmanship that meshes quite nicely with the "I killed Bin Laden and you didn't" meme. This is going to be an exceptionally ugly and vicious campaign season fueled by an unlimited supply of money and the pervasive "us versus them - end times" psychology among the politicians and the electorate. Nothing else matters than winning the election and defeating evil... for both sides.

Tyler

Listened to NPR gush about Obama on the way to work. I remember Bush doing the same thing in Iraq and them talking about him sneaking into the country.

To them it was a big deal that the US made Afghanistan promise to commit to "diversity, minority rights, and women's rights". Since these are neoliberals/neocons with no conception of how the world works outside of the ivory towers, I would think that their assumptions are charmingly naive if US troops weren't being asked to die so Afghan girls can vote or whatever the cause du jour this media cycle.

HankP

I'm liberal, but I'm not trying to defeat evil. I just want to defeat crazy.

FB Ali

Gareth Porter has an interesting analysis of this agreement. He also points out how it is cleverly drafted to suit both Obama and Karzai's cosmetic purposes without committing either to anything.

The details of the US forces' role post-2014 is still to be negotiated in a Bilateral Security Agreement, which is to be completed after the Nov election. Also, by a clever dodge in the Definitions of the Strategic Framework Agreement, Karzai has been given no control or even say over night raids by US SOF, but it is made to appear as if he does (so that he can make that claim to his people).

Paul Deavereaux

As one of those 'lefties' the Colonel shouts at, I agree with what Jonst is saying. The left has made the mistake of raising gender issues above the general social good and the country is paying the price for that error. The MIC is sucking the lifeblood out of the husk. The reactionaries overwhelming fiscal crimes have gone beyond their typical money-hoarding goals and now the crazed authoritarian elements in their crowd have come completely unhinged, gorged on unlimited cash and hubris.

The Neo left? They're busy shooting themselves in their own feet while clinging to the undercarriage of the money train. New iPhones! HDTV! Gay rights! Oooh, Rush called me a *nasty* name!!! Never criticize our new Tin Gods in the military or their murderous 30 year-long corporate thug escapades or you'll have one hell of a time getting past the TSA guys to make your flight to that Costa Rican resort with the cool new zipline. Never realize the moneyboys will never give it up voluntarily. Never focus on public-funded elections to control corruption when there's so much money flowing out of the cauldron. Never use an iron fist when a limp one is available.

Wait, lemme get my earplugs in for the blast.....

turcopolier

PD

I am not known for shouting. Can't you take criticism? pl

Paul Deavereaux

PL... the shouting thing came from jonst comment above mine. And criticism is great. Makes for honest discussions.

ISL

Anthony Cordesman seems atypically optimistic. I certainly see no chance of a political will for a smaller army in Afghanistan, which is interesting as the only way the army could support itself once the foreign funds dry up is extortion from the locals. Or collapse. Hard to imagine a collapse leading to a functioning institution.

Also, barring US support for some druglord/warlord/whatever type, hard to see the Afghan govt remaining able to function absent the external funds and ability to bribe allegiance.

My assessment is more likely to descend into a free-for-all where the toughest (and usually least pleasant) survives to rule. I have heard the rise of the Khmer Rouge described that way. I don't see any plan for providing Afghanistan with a functioning economy (unless - snark alert - Obama can sweet talk europe into legalizing heroin to provide a market), and without a functioning economy, seems to me that everything else is just words on paper.

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