There are a number of points that don’t ring true…….but before we look at these, one must identify who the “Taliban” Gates is talking about are….there is one Afghan Taliban (Mullah Omar), there is the Haqqani Network, there is the HIG (Hekmatyar), and now the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)is active in Northern Afghanistan. This is a loose confederation that will support one another when it is beneficial and bear arms against one another when necessary. The issues are: (1) abandon ties to Al Qeada……it is known that there is no strong linkage between the two at this point in time. The Taliban are not looking to exert control over any territory larger than current Afghanistan (and the Pashtun belt of Pakistan). (2) I am not aware of any pressure being put on by Coalition Forces that will induce the Taliban to the Peace Table. Statistics do not bear out any of the spin emanating from ISAF about the Taliban being ineffective. They are somewhat stagnant, however, they are demonstrating the ability to infiltrate into the heart of the Afghan military/government. They are very active in the areas Karzai has declared as secure enough to allow the nascent Afghan National Army to exercise control. The most interesting part: As wars conclude, Gates noted, it is inevitable that “peace is made between people who have been killing each other.” The Taliban, he added, is “part of the fabric” of Afghan politics. This suggests that this administration will declare victory and go home, only to aid the electoral process…..
Phi Beta Iota: Both the USA and Israel used terror tactics to achieve their original independence from British dominion. Terrorism is a tactic, nothing more. To demonize it is to betray one’s substitution of ideology for intelligence.
The comments expressed in this interview exactly reflect my views–recommended!
Bill Moyers Interviews Andrew Bacevich
Our finest warriors are often our most reluctant warmongers. They have seen firsthand the toll war exacts. They know better than anyone that force can be like a lobster trap that closes with each stage of descent, making escape impossible. So it was when the liberal consensus lured America into Vietnam during the ’60s, and again after 9/11, when neoconservatives clamored for the invasion of Iraq. With the notorious ferocity of the noncombatant, the neocons banged their tin drums and brayed for blood, as long as it was not their own that would be spilled.
One old warrior looked on sadly, his understanding of combat’s reality tempered by twenty-three years in uniform, including service in Vietnam. A graduate of West Point, Andrew Bacevich retired from the military to become a professor of history and international relations at Boston University, a public thinker who has been able to find an audience across the political spectrum, from The Nation to The American Conservative magazines. In several acclaimed books, including The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, and his bestselling The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, Bacevich speaks truth to power, no matter who’s in power, which may be why he reaches both the left and the right.
Phi Beta Iota: The interview was done in 2008 and published today in truthout because of its high relevance to the decline and fall of America today.