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Shell Game

Posted by The Agonist on June 29th, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

My suspicion is Al Qaeda and their sympathisers are a lot more clever than we credit them for:

KABUL — Kamel Khan, 32, a businessman, was chatting with two friends on the poolside terrace of the hilltop Intercontinental Hotel Tuesday night when he heard a burst of gunfire and looked up. A man carrying a machine gun, with an ammunition belt across his chest and a knapsack on his back, was standing a few feet away.

“He stared at all of the guests like he wanted to kill us, and he had enough bullets to do it, but for some reason he just turned and kept going,” Khan said. After a moment of shock, Khan and dozens of other guests made a dash for the garden wall and fled downhill, while heavy shooting erupted behind them.

I don’t think it’s much of a coincidence that we announce a troop drawdown in Afhganistan and fighting begins to flare up again.

It seems that a strategy of trying to exhaust the resources of the greatest military in the history of the planet is underway. It’s a smart strategy. Our armed forces are pretty regimented in terms of materiel and personnel. We don’t really have a flexible strategy to keep our troops fresh and we certainly aren’t about to start a draft at this point in time. We’ve got the forces we’re going to fight with and can only hope they’re up to the task over the long and difficult haul.

Thank you, George Bush. Sometimes, listening to Jesus means actually taking his advice and turning the other cheek. But I digress…

We’ve been at this war, on and off (because you sure can’t call the first seven years anything more than lip service to accomplishing a goal) for almost eleven years now and will certainly surpass that mark before our troops come home.

By contrast, World War II took less than half that time, we beat the Nazis AND Japan in two theatres. By that measure, this Middle-South Asia adventure has been a debacle. We wars on three fronts (if you include Iraq and Pakistan) and are rumbling with Libya.

The paranoid in me believes there’s more here than meets the eye. After spending nearly forty years in a cold war with the Soviet Union, perhaps its possible that the Chinese were taking notes. If they can get the US to dismantle our economy willingly in pursuit of ghosts and vapor trails, the Chinese can rather quietly declare checkmate on us and our economy.

We’ve certainly demonstrated our willingness to take our economy to the brink in order to beat a military rival. China doesn’t even have to lift a finger except to fund the Taliban and Al Qaeda (as well as Hamas and Hezbollah, among others) to keep our military spending up, our debt purchases flowing and our military exhausted.

After all, would you send in American troops after a decade of fighting an exhausting and draining war into a dispute in the South China Sea?

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