Afghanistan: We’ve punished the Taliban enough, I think.

afghan_girls_classIt was al-Qaeda, not the Taliban nor Afghanistan that attacked us. We didn’t go there to change their religion, or wipe out poppy fields, or make them a democracy. Neither NATO, the US, Russia, nor an Afghan “central government,” elected or otherwise, can control the mountainous areas adjoining Pakistan. Even the military admits that.

“These (outposts) are costly and dangerous and not doing much to bring security to the people or connect the people to their government,” said a U.S. official who’s familiar with the region. “The terrain is too rugged, the infrastructure and especially roads do not exist and couldn’t be built on short order, and the population is too low and too dispersed.”

American commanders had hoped that sending more troops to the border area, coupled with a new Pakistani drive against the militants on its side of the border, could deprive al Qaida and the Taliban of a sanctuary and end infiltration from Pakistan.

However, two senior U.S. officials said, there’s no sign that the Pakistani military is prepared to move against the militants, and as one of them put it: “There’s no point swinging a hammer if there’s no anvil there.”

Mr. President: Declare that we’ve punished the Taliban and decimated al-Qaeda, and that we’ll be watching Afghanistan closely for al-Qaeda activity.

And leave.

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