General Wesley Clark
In an op-ed in today’s <a
href=”http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/08/17/2009-08-17_obama_must_learn_from_vietnam_gen_wesley_clark_gives_the_president_advice_for_af.html?page=0″>Daily News, General Wesley Clark warns about the growing similarities between Vietnam and Afghanistan. According to polling, our involvement in Afghanistan is now opposed by 54% of respondents. We find ourselves supporting an unpopular, somewhat corrupt regime. What does he propose?
- Our best knowledge is that Al Qaeda is not in Afghanistan anymore anyway. Yet he is not suggesting we just leave.
- The danger is that the current government of Afghanistan will fall to the Taliban who will in turn invite Al Qaeda back in.
- The current government, especially with its extraordinary level of corruption, commands little loyalty.
- Rooting out the corruption so that stability no longer depends on thugs like General Dostum requires a much larger commitment: there has to be very strong security to effect the necessary political changes.
Maybe we don’t need to see a perfect democracy in Afghanistan, but a weak kleptocracy does us no favors either.Had the Bush Administration not abandoned Afghanistan in 2003 for its Iraq improvisation, things might have been a lot better. How are we going to get out of this one?