It appears that change is in the air now that the Obama Administration is in full swing.
Two interesting events today - with the postponement of the Afghanistan elections as the Taleban ramps up violence, it appears that the Obama Administration has abandoned President Hamid Karzai as the Afghan front man:
This makes sense on a political level if nothing else, at least as far as Obama is concerned. Obama wants his own guy there, not one tainted by associations with ex-president Bush so that he can show the Angry Left that he's made the change and dumped a Bush 'puppet'...especially if he plans to ramp up troop deployment.
I personally wouldn't be surprised if our new president was somewhat Taliban friendly and open to a consensus candidate the Taliban would approve.
That could mean that either (a) Obama is looking for a reason to pull our troops out or (b) he's tired of Karzai bitching about US drone strikes and wants someone in the Afghan presidency who's more open to taking orders and looking the other way when necessary.
The rap about Karzhai being corrupt and ineffectual in the linked article is not entirely without substance, but I'd argue that given the realities of Afghanistan, Karzhai's no worse than anyone else who could conceivably be Afghanistan's president.
I'd opt for (a) after a suitable interval, with perhaps a token US force there to 'combat terrorism and train the Afghan security forces,' coupled with a decent amount of aid money. But in either case, President Obama has realized a couple of things.
First, his silly ideas about getting those of our European allies who have avoided getting their hands dirty so far to to actually use combat troops and up their commitments obviously weren't grounded in reality. Our EU friends may have given Barry a standing "o" and voiced their approval at not having to deal with that ignorant Texas blowhard any more, but that's as far as it goes when the pedal hits the metal.
Ditto to Obama's equally silly idea of invading Waziristan with two brigades.
Second, the entire situation in Afghanistan is a lot more complex and difficult than he thought. Obama was probably figuring on using the Iraq 'surge ' formula in Afghanistan that he insultingly derided back when he was a presidential candidate, only to realize that the two situations are very different.
Being a political animal, the last thing I think he would want is to be saddled with an unpopular war that would enrage the nutroots and cut into his support.So I think a new government in Afghanistan, some diplomacy with the Taliban and an exit after a reasonable amount of time could be where we're headed.
Another event that could shed some light on this is Obama's apparent abandonment of missile defense shields for Europe, something Putin appreciated, I'm sure.
Even if the Poles and Czechs didn't.