POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE INDEPENDENT
I am impressed: five thousand more cooks, drivers, and medics.
It just could not be clearer that NATO does not agree with the United States' twisted view that Afghanistan is a serious threat.
You do not have to plea, bribe, and threaten - as the U.S. has done over and over in recent years - to get nations who genuinely feel endangered to help fight.
There is no threat.
Even Obama's charming personality and the world's great wishes for his success in cleaning up the horrors left behind by Bush cannot cause NATO's leaders to take this pontless engagement seriously.
The U.S. made a colossal mistake invading Afghanistan, and once there it did not even know what to do, other than killing a lot of people and committing a number of hideous war crimes.
It has established a government there no one respects. It has established former Northern Alliance warlords in the provinces, people in many cases just as repulsive as the Taleban. Its invasion released a flood of hard drugs on the world. It blubbered about women - as a propaganda ploy, its invasion being about killing, not women's rights - yet today the burka is seen everywhere outside the capital, and even in the capital, it is worn by half of women.
And no one, other than the delusional, can believe you can change the patterns of an ancient, hardscrabble society of 25 million. They will leave the 14th century as they experience sustained economic growth, and no other way.
The five thousand non-combat troops might well be called a politely-offered fig leaf for America's delicate dignity.
OBAMA GETS HIS FIG LEAF FROM NATO