The U.S. is building a military training center in Tajikistan’s capital:
“U.S. and Tajik officials have marked the start of construction of a military training center near Dushanbe that is being funded by Washington, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reports.
“U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Ken Gross and Tajik National Guard Commander General Rajabali Rahmonali laid the [...]
Today an international coalition began attacking military forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar al-Qadhafi, with the official aim of protecting civilians in rebel-held areas of the country, especially the major city of Benghazi. The Obama administration is working hard to ensure that this is not perceived as an American operation. I believe this scenario [...]
Marc Lynch makes a very good point:
Suppose the U.S. succeeded beyond all its wildest expectations, and turned Afghanistan into Nirvana on Earth, an orderly, high GDP nirvana with universal health care and a robust wireless network (and even suppose that it did this without the expense depriving Americans of the same things). So what? Al-Qaeda (or what we call al-Qaeda) could easily migrate to Somalia, to Yemen, deeper into Pakistan, into the Caucasas, into Africa — into a near infinite potential pool of ungoverned or semi-governed spaces with potentially supportive environments. Are we to commit the United States to bringing effective governance and free wireless to the entire world? On whose budget? To his credit, McChrystal adviser Steve Biddle raises all of these questions in his excellent American Interest article from last month — but in my view goes wrong by limiting the policy options to either full withdrawal or full commitment to COIN.
Right. It’s not like al-Qaeda is confined to this little sliver of land in South Asia such that, once that narrow stretch of land is magically pacified and completely reordered, al-Qaeda will cease to exist. Thus, as Lynch points out, the game of nation build-a-mole will have to continue in a new setting. And at a couple trillion dollars a pop, we don’t have the money. Further, al-Qaeda (and its viral ideology) has penetrated Western Europe and other regions not in need of nation building. So even if at the end of a century and $50 trillion dollars or so, we managed to purge the globe of potential havens, the problem would persist.
This, for my money (taxpayers too), is the right approach: Read more »
It’s Ralph Peters, so there’s plenty wrong with this column, but this part in particular stuck out to me:
Former President Bill Clinton crawled (well, flew in a Hollywood bigwig’s jet) to Pyongyang to stroke the world’s nuttiest dictator to free two journalists on ex-VP Al Gore’s payroll.
Glad the gals are back in the Land of the Big PX. But the message we sent was that you can grab gringos and instantly become a Friend of Bill. Wonder what Iran will want for hostages? Will the Taliban demand face-time with Tina Fey in exchange for the soldier it holds?
Really? We should be concerned that hostage takers in the future will…demand face time with Bill Clinton or Tina Fey? Is that really such an exorbitant ransom to pay in order to spare two American women from an unthinkably brutal prison system, wherein prisoners are so deprived of food that they sometimes resort to cannibalism when the opportunity arises (that is, when they aren’t lucky enough to catch a rat and eat it raw on the spot)?
Or would a Tina Fey photo op be too high a price for the life of a soldier held by the Taliban? Wait, maybe I’m asking the wrong question - Ralph Peters would rather see the soldier executed regardless.
Read more »
Mike Hanna is on point, as usual:
The United States took an important step yesterday toward leaving Iraq by moving combat troops out of Iraqi population centers in anticipation of the June 30 deadline specified in the U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).
This redeployment has focused attention on Iraq’s current security situation [...]