Diary

Taliban to Obama: Thanks for the Gameplan Pal.

Dr. Walid Phares, (learn his name), director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and author of “The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad”, has a post at the Counter Terrorism blog about the inevitable counter-counter terrorism strategy of the Taliban now that they know we’ll be out sooner than later:

The jihadi war room is now aware that the administration has narrowed its scope to defeat the so-called al-Qaida organization while limiting its goal to depriving the Taliban from achieving full victory, i.e. depriving them “from the momentum.” In strategic wording this means that the administration won’t give the time and the means, let alone the necessary long term commitment to fully defeat the Taliban as a militia and militant network.

Yup, that’s exactly what it means.

Can anyone else think of another time in American military history where our plan has been so carefully laid out for the enemy? Now I get the fact that nobody in the administration seems to have a coherent answer themselves as to how etched in stone the 18-month pullout really is, but does anyone think for a second that the semantics of that plan make a lick of difference to the Taliban? These people have been fighting this fight for 1300 years…they can wait 19 or 20 months:

By the time the US deadline to withdraw would be reached, in 2011, 2012, or even beyond, the future forces of the enemy will be ready to be deployed. One wave of terrorists will be weakened by the action of the U.S. and NATO armed forces, while the next wave will be prepared to take over later.

[…]

As many analysts have concluded, all the jihadists war planners have to do is to wait out the hurricane of escalation. The deadly deadline proposed in the strategy has no precedent in the history of confrontation with totalitarian forces. The Taliban waited out eight years, what are two, three or eight more years, if the U.S.-led coalition’s action is not qualitatively (not just quantitatively) different?

This is the point I don’t think our collective military and defense apparatus has quite yet gotten. They’re not constrained by Western politics in their fight. They don’t have to worry about election cycles and popular sentiment. Their goal is crystal clear and their will is unbreakable.

We are, we do and ours is not.

I don’t have the answer here by any stretch of the imagination. All I know is that despite Gen. McChrystal’s passionate belief that he can get the job done in 18 months, the fact remains that the Taliban have no immediate plans of ceasing fire or abandoning their goal.

Now, again, I hope I’m wrong. I hope McChrystal is the brilliant military strategist many think he is and that he has a plan to both significantly disrupt their ability to recruit and reload and train enough committed Afghans to keep it that way when we do eventually leave. I really hope so. But people like Walid Phares understand our enemy better than most people at the Pentagon and he’s not so optimistic:

In a nutshell, the new strategy is convenient to that Taliban war room: They now can figure it all out until the Mayan year of 2012 — and way beyond.

All that it takes for democracies to offer the totalitarians victories is to not understand the latter’s long-term goals. And we’ve just done that, so far.

So far.