Obama advocates can only react to his decision to perpetuate low-intensity warfare against the Taliban in Afghanistan with a deep sense of betrayal and a deeper mistrust of his motives. Now what is low-intensity warfare? The simplest answer: war fought with a low-balled troop deployment. As an alternative definition: war fought with resources too thinly spread to win the war in a foreseeable timeframe.
Why would an administration engage our military services in low-intensity warfare? The answer: because the opposite of such warfare, total warfare, would probably rouse overwhelming public dissent. Regarding Afghanistan, another question: Why are we sending U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan? To defeat two fourth-generation guerilla resistances that we ourselves created to expel the Soviet occupation? That answer lacks logic. How can the paltry deployment we are dedicating to Afghanistan overcome battle-hardened and wizened guerillas that whooped a huge Soviet presence?
A more likely answer is provided by almost every disinterested investigative journalist specializing in the Middle East. Afghanistan, it happens, provides pipeline corridors vital to the interests of our Western gas and oil establishment. The Taliban, it happens, despises the imperialism typical of Western-based gas and oil giants. The Taliban must, therefore, be repressed enough that it cannot effectively thwart Western gas and oil ambitions in Afghanistan.
If our military presence in Afghanistan amounts to yet another gas and oil war, and if Obama is perpetuating this presence in low-intensity mode (or any mode, for that matter), we have every right to conclude that his Middle East policy is little more than an iteration of Bush's. To think, it was Obama who cautioned us that McCain would be more of Bush. And, to take it further, it was The Who that sang "We won't be fooled again." Will we?
Tom Wright, Aztec