Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Obama Steps on Neocon Tails

President Obama did two things that stepped on the Neocon's tail last week: he cancelled the US anti ballistic missile and radar deployments in Poland and Czech Republic and he delayed – took a deep breath to consider whether he should authorize even more troops to be sent to Afghanistan.

Up until last week the rat neocons were warmly cooing as Obama reenforced Afghanistan, carelessly ripped suspect insurgent installations in Pakistan and held to GW Bush's aggressive policies opposite Russia; they adored the US/Israel national security projects in Georgia, the NATO recruitment of the Ukraine and, gloried in a US planned ant-ballistic missile installation on the Russian borders in Eastern Europe.

These anti-ballistic deployments were portrayed as a potential defense system against possible Iranian ballistic missiles. Nobody ever believed this preposterous rational. NATO countries were certainly not concerned over the threat; they are profitably supplied with Iranian oil. The Russian General Staff scoffed at the deployment and considered it a feeble attempt at US first-strike capability. The Russians made it clear to Obama during his last visit that there would be no negotiation on US/Russian nuclear weapons pact due to expire in December unless the US fixed the anti-missile deployment problem.

Immediately after the US announcement that the planned anti-ballistic deployments were dead, NATO Secretary General Rassmusen gave a sigh of relief and suggested that NATO and Russia consider a mutual missile defense system. As the misguided plan folded without NATO remorse, it became more apparent it was just a US neocon policy – shilling for Israel to create tension over Iran. GW Bush was dopey enough to buy into it. The Poles and the Czechs were originally enticed into accepting these deployments by promises that the US would re-equip their Soviet/Warsaw Pact military forces with modern military technology compatible with NATO.

The political leadership of both countries accepted the deal, but the general populace was not as sanguine. This support was to cost the Czech Premier his job. The pro American Poles were more receptive, but opposition existed that understood, despite treaties in WWII, Poland was overwhelmed and betrayed by the West. The missile deployments on Polish soil would constitute a casus belli for Russian invasion. The Russian indicated that they would deploy its high precision, mobile offensive missile, Iskander to Poland's backyard in Kaliningrad to counter the US deployments.

Militarily the Russians could take out the proposed sites immediately in special operations, with short range missiles and/or aircraft. Even the most naive Pole or Czech does not believe NATO or the US would risk nuclear war over a Russian pinpoint, limited attack on their soil.

The question that now remains to be determined is the extent the US is prepared to bank roll the modernization of Polish and Czech forces to meet NATO standards? This is especially stressful for the US since much of US ground forces equipment is worn out and needs replacement.

As US and NATO casualties are mounting, Obama apparently has decided to gulp and take a second look at the Afghan/Pakistan wars that are spinning out of control. His Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mullen is begging for more troops even though he is not certain how to employ them or is he yet out of the Iraqi situation. Mullen was followed a few days later by US Afghan CO General McChrystal’s request for more troops.

It will be interesting to learn how long the Commander in Chief President can resist the military's pleas. Will Obama follow orders from subordinates or will he give them? War-loving Republicans and neocons of course are urging more troops to the Hindu Kush. Obama is soon to have his moment of truth.

Obama has to find other solutions in Afghanistan other than routine mass arrests, detention centers and RVN era fire bases. Training Afghan military to stand up is pie in the sky; it has never worked in any of our colonial wars. In Korea we had to integrate the South Koreans with US forces to build an effective ROK army and that war was not exactly colonial.

My proposal for Afghanistan is simple. Meet with the bearded, one-eyed Taliban Chieftain Mullah Omar and advise him that the US will remove itself from Afghanistan provided he keeps al Qaeda out of the country. Offer reconstruction aid as incentive. If the US determines he violates the agreement, we will take out one-third of his home town, Kandahar with bombs and missiles. If he continues the violations we we take out the other two-thirds and than proceed incrementally to Kabul.

It is stupid to fight the war on his terms. And that is what the Pentagon is doing today. Forget about the squalid, limited central government; locus of power there is in tribal chiefs and Mullah Omar.

Obama's cancellation of the Czech and Polish missile deployments brought a chorus of criticism from the rat neocons to include Bomb Bomb McCain, but this discontent was music to my ears. The poor souls have not been right in more than 8 years. Can we expect more change we can believe in from Obama? Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret.


Anonymous PIZZABOY said...

Like your no-nonsense solution to the Afghan mess.

Upgrading our friends military capabilities is a long shot at best. You'd probably know best Col. but 4 or 5 divisions worth of nato type gear is gonna cost a pretty penny.

I fear that eventually the Wojsko Polskie will tire of our bullshit & eliminate the index finger from their famous salute the next time we need them to give us a hand.


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