by Tara Servatius
President Obama has spent the last three years trying to figure out how to turn over Afghanistan to the Taliban without taking the political heat for it. In the process, the Obama Administration has committed a betrayal of our troops so stunning that anything done to them in or after Vietnam pales in comparison.
While the Taliban kills our troops and innocent bystanders in Afghanistan, the Obama Administration is fighting to give them the one thing they can't seem to win on the battle field: control over the whole country.
It is no accident that despite the deployment of 33,000 troops under Obama, the Taliban in Afghanistan has thrived and grown, as documented by a recent Congressional report released earlier this week. This has happened while the Pakistani Taliban and insurgent groups have been assassinated or bombed into relative submission by our drones next door in Pakistan.
Why haven't we been as successful, or as aggressive, in Afghanistan? Evidence is mounting daily that the Obama Administration has not only held back in Afghanistan, but has deliberately undermined the war effort there.
A stunning Washington Post piece on Sunday documented how we've been secretly releasing captured combatants from Afghan jails to placate the Taliban and other insurgent groups and entice them to negotiate with us. Administration officials wouldn't say if these terrorist thugs went on to murder our troops, probably because they have.
Why are we so interested in kissing up to these thugs? Obama ultimately intends for the Taliban to rule Afghanistan again, a development that could destabilize the whole region.
It is part of an administration policy called "legitimate Islamism," and conservatives need to wake up and understand what it means. Basically, as explained by an Obama surrogate in the National Journal recently, Obama is seeking to put radical Islamists in power in country after country on the theory that if they have a "legitimate" government to run, they won't join Al Qaida and attack us.
So far, Obama has succeeded in overthrowing or destabilizing secular forces everywhere his administration has meddled except Afghanistan. From Libya to Egypt to Yemen, the Obama administration has turned its back on or actively removed leaders who -- whether we like them or not -- have kept radical Islamists in check. In their place, administration officials have nurtured the radical Muslim Brotherhood and other like-minded groups. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are the administration's radical Islamic overlords of choice.
Conservatives haven't pieced all this together in part because they've been fooled by Obama's aggressive drone bombing campaign next door in Pakistan, which has taken out Pakistani insurgents and al Qaida members. The drone assassination campaign has left the impression in conservative -- and American -- minds that Obama is serious about destroying the Taliban, when what he merely intends to do is to "redirect" their ambitions into power in Afghanistan, which he believes will contain them.
Make no mistake about it, Obama intends for the Taliban to rule or help to rule next door in Afghanistan, even though the Taliban in Afghanistan is virtually indistinguishable from its Pakistani counterparts.
The only reason the Obama Administration has failed to put the Taliban in power in Afghanistan so far is because Taliban leaders refuse to make progress in peace talks that were supposed to "integrate" them into the national government. That is because Taliban leaders refuse to "negotiate" until Obama releases their buddies from Guantanamo. Problem is, Obama can't do that without the approval of Congress. So he's stuck releasing the lower level terrorist thugs our troops risk their lives to capture from our Afghan jails to placate the Taliban into negotiations.
It is the ultimate betrayal not just of our troops, who spend their days battling the Taliban while the Obama Administration undermines them at the negotiating table, but of the Afghan people, who were led to believe they could freely elect the leaders who would govern them. If Obama and the State Department get their way, the Afghan people will once again have Taliban overlords forced upon them for the first time since 2001, when US troops gave their lives to set the Afghan people free of Taliban rule.
If they succeed, our entire war effort there will have been for nothing. In fact, it's worse than that. The Taliban would not only regain control of a centralized Afghan government, they'd also get something else they weren't able to achieve when they controlled the country before the 2001 invasion: international recognition of a Taliban-run Afghan government.
In other words, credibility.
Sure, the administration says the Taliban wouldn't be integrated into the government unless they vowed to renounce violence, but that pledge is at best laughable, given their track record of violence in the face of peace offer after peace offer from us.
The solution? Hard-core, no-holds barred drone warfare in Afghanistan until what remains of the Taliban leadership is shattered. If that means killing thousands of insurgents, that's what we must do.
With their bomb plot in Times Square in 2010, the Pakistani Taliban has already demonstrated that they are eager to attack on our soil. Given time and enough power, their Afghan counterparts will do the same. That is, unless we stop them there, to keep them from bringing the war here. That once was the policy of the United States. It needs to be again.
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