Learning to Float in the War on Terror

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Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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2 Responses

  1. Excellent post Chris.

    I guess I’ma rare conservative in that I never supported the invasion of Afghanistan as it was carried out. Our target was Al Qaeda. We should have targeted them and if that meant chasing them through the hinter lands of Pakistan, so be it. They were a state-less actor and there was no real reason to target the government of Afghanistant, corrupt and tyrannical as they may have been. I’m not even convinced they were providing ‘shelter’ to Al Qaeda because really did they even have the power to drive them even if they had wanted to? Their power was mostly concentrated in the capital of a very lawless country and AQ was sheltered by various warlords that were beholden to no one.

    As soon as we targeted the Taliban in what I can only describe as an act of grief-motivated revenge, we made ourselves responsible for cleaning up the mess by the standards that Western nations now play by. That includes basically assuming the operational costs for the country since they have little or no ways of producing revenue. That is, in my mind, a complete blunder of epic proportions. At least even the strongest critics of the Iraq war should be able to concede that Iraq is a major player in the Middle East by location and by history. Afghanistan is no more key to the global fight against terror than anyone of another dozen lawless and/or tyrannical nations with a militant-inclined Muslim population.Report

  2. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    There was some talk (even factions within the Taliban) of trading Osama in exchange for letting the Taliban stay in power. But Mullah Omar was (and still is I imagine) too close to bin Laden. Reports have it that are related by marriage. So while it arguably would have been the best way to go, I don’t know how you could have practically separated the two. At this point, al-Qaeda in Pakistan was, prior to Beitullah Mehsud’s death, a functionary of the Pakistani Taliban. Maybe with Mehsud’s death that has changed and al-Qaeda will try to reassert its independence. The Afghan jihad at this point is pretty well separate from al-Qaeda however and that could be turned down.Report

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