Monday, May 2, 2011

Ding Dong - the bell tolls for them. Pakistan worries and the US celebrates.

The killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden represents possibly the biggest clandestine operations success for the United States since ... well, given all the conditions, betrayal, lies ... probably, the biggest clandestine success since the landing at Normandy.  The confirmation of his death is an emotional victory for the United States and will have a significant impact upon the geopolitics of the region.  Some will claim his death is irrelevant - I do not believe it is as irrelevant as many others, nor do I believe his death is the end and we simply fold up our tents and come home (as the administration will do, contrary to their public words). 

Yet come home we should, and without delay ... to a point.   Our mission, to find those responsible and bring them to justice no matter who they were, where they were, or how long it took - has largely been answered.  Our mission is done.  We should come home. 

However, we should also leave available, teams (like the ones who went in to the compound in the military city of Abbottabad) ready to insert themselves anywhere and at any time, to remove threats or high value targets.  We should insist the world recognize this will be the manner we will conduct further actions, and that unless we are physically attacked, we have no need to leave 100,000 troops roaming around a wasteland we have no interest in wandering.

There are individuals who believe we are there (Afghanistan) to conquer, and they mock the US, recalling Alexander's inability to take and hold modern day Afghanistan.  The difference - we don't want to have it, which irritates those individuals, and causes them distress that we would give our blood and wealth for something we have no desire to hold and keep.  I would strongly suggest those individuals study American history - not rhetoric, but the history, and not history as propounded by the few, but more factual history.  If you do, you will begin to understand we will outlast anyone who attacks the United States.  It is not a matter of raising Vietnam - for apples and grapefruit have no connection, but for the loose label of being fruit.  Vietnam and Afghanistan both involved US forces. 

We are willing to expend hundreds of billions of dollars and the blood of American servicemen, to hunt down those people who harm us or who pose a grave threat to the United States. 

We have demonstrated that to the world.  Now we can come home.  The taliban are factionalized - they fight and kill one another.  Some factions have joined with Karazai, others remain at war against anyone perceived to be Western or who may be supported by the West.  We have rebuilt more of Afghanistan than has existed since the early 1970s, and actually we have done more than that - we have given them the opportunity to move forward and produce a life for their families that will provide hope.  It is a choice - to move forward or backward, and that is something we cannot dictate.  What we can insist upon is that we will never allow the taliban to provide support or aid to those who plan to harm the United States.  If they do, we will return.

In Iraq - we have rebuilt that country to a level it has never reached before - from sanitation and electrification, education, and infrastructure to maintain the system - it is now their choice.  They will not be a nuclear threat to the United States nor to their neighbors.  They will continue to fight one another, for this will take time, but it is an internal issue and one we must extricate ourselves from, for we have no reason or purpose to be there.  We have removed the tyrant, rebuilt their country, dismembered al qaida in Iraq, and left in place the groups who will resist al qaida and the creation of a possible terrorist haven.  We make it very clear to Iran we will leave, but should they move into Iraq, we will be back to defend Iraq, and defeat Iran. 

We inform Russia we will not allow interference in Afghanistan, via support for the taliban or undermining of the political or economic system in that country.  That relations with the West will depend upon their actions, and will constantly be re-evaluated.

Then we leave.  We leave Iraq and we leave Afghanistan.

There will be those who insist that America is in those countries to conquer or control - to them all I can say is - good-bye and good riddance, find another conspiracy to dwell on.

We make it known we will return if ever an attack occurs against the United States, we make it clear we will outlast anyone and no one will hide from us, anywhere on earth.  All they have is time and with time, their time on earth decreases.

We make changes to our foreign aid - Pakistan has demonstrated that there are countries where the government is more corrupted than Mexico.  The Pakistani West Point was several hundred yards from Bin Laden's balcony.  A city where generals from the Pakistani military and ISI retired after they received their suitcases of cash.  This is a city where people know each other, where people talk, where ... no one knew anything, unlike other cities of equal size where you simply mention 'Hamid, the guy who lives with his mother' and anyone will point you in the correct direction.  Amazing that in this city, no one knew anything.  Yet, ask any of them (I am sure) about world conspiracies and the US interest in Iraq and they would tell you more than the NY Times.  Amazing. 

We know, if you would simply recall from a decade ago, when Clinton was about to send in missiles to Afghanistan, Madeline Albright called the Pakistani government (ISI) and informed them missiles would be flying overhead and to duck.  It is no wonder when the missiles landed no one was home.  And we should have told Pakistan?  Not unless you wanted more egg on your face.  The government of Pakistan is corrupt to the core.  End the billions we provide, cut the funding and provide them a two year window in which they can demonstrate their seriousness - clean up their mess or get nothing from us.

Leave an aircraft carrier and accompanying support craft off the coast of Pakistan at all times.  Each ship can hold several thousand Marines, aircraft, and helicopters.  We can move quickly from the carriers to anywhere we need to be, if the need arises - after we bring home the troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Bin Laden is dead - the snake is not just made up of the head, which we severed, but a body - and many pundits are telling us we need to worry about them.  Yes, but - over the last 10 years we have monitored the 2, 3, 4, levels below bin Laden, we have watched their every move.  We know every goat they stood behind, every crack they crawled out from, every hole they filled with their excrement - we know everything about very nearly every one of them - and we still do.  We knew all this because we were trying to find the head of the snake, and they were not useful.  But we still know where they are.  So let them take over for the dead head, and we will send them on their way to spend eternity with Satan as well.

Where we are not as aware - al qaida in Yemen and North Africa and Oman ... this is where we are lacking in intelligence, but again - Osama was a unique character.  It is immaterial that he was not active - he was their figurehead, he was their ideal, he was their motivational speaker - he was charismatic, wealthy, and historical.  No one else comes close.  No one else has the passion to pull jihadists from around the world and we will soon find, the jihadists leave and go back to their villages.  The Western figures in al qaida will follow bin Laden soon enough.

They are on the run, they are on the defensive, and hopefully we will engage them wherever they are today.  One lesson from this successful clandestine action is that we have subsidiary efforts ongoing, and they will need to be rolled up or we will lose them.  We have the snake and we have 2/3 of the body.  The final 1/3 we must methodically hunt down and kill.

bin laden is dead

Make Mine Freedom - 1948

American Form of Government

Who's on First? Certainly isn't the Euro.