Obama’s short-sightedness in simply opting for a ‘surge’ in Afghanistan-Pakistan – now being considered by US military planners as a ‘single theatre’ of war – will possibly be his undoing, his Vietnam as surprisingly the mainstream Time magazine put it. It’s a shame that Obama is speaking to every military and intelligence official under the sun about the efficacy of this shift in policy, but not to the man who actually carried out such a ‘surge’ policy in the 1980s, and saw his superpower country crumble as a result of it: former Soviet premier Gorbachev.
One call to Gorbachev should have been sufficient to persuade Obama that he can quadruple the number of US troops – with less and less troops from other NATO countries because they have come to realize, like the British generals, that Afghanistan is an “unwinnable war” – and the killings, chaos, and insurgency will only intensify. A simple lesson that should be learned from all colonial adventures, past and present, is that occupations always breed resistance, the two go hand in hand. And ugly occupations don’t always breed the prettiest of resistances. The problems in Afghanistan-Pakistan are profoundly political in nature, and will not be resolved by a trigger happy US-NATO-Pakistani military high command unleashing its lethal toys from 50,000 feet in the sky, or by soldiers on the ground sheepishly believing themselves to be ‘rescuing’ and ‘liberating’ Moslems (especially moslem women)…from themselves.