The New York Times quotes Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman as saying America has just "begun the first serious national debate about Afghanistan: whether we should be there and what we should be doing there." Lieberman is a hawk in this debate as he was, if my memory is accurate, on Iraq. But why? The president himself, Times columnist Ross Douthat notes, has described Afghanistan as a "war of necessity." But you have to wonder. The original notion, as I recall, was that we'd get rid of the terrorists, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, whoever they were. Terrorism seems weaker now than after the 9/11 attacks on New York eight years ago, but it hasn't gone away. Afghanistan as a country has a corrupt, but not particularly anti-American president and lacks the power to attack the United States. The terrorists have the will to attack but probably not the forces they need. If they are hiding a nuclear bomb, say, in Afghanistan, they'll likely respond to a pending U.S. attack by hiding it somewhere else--maybe in Pakistan. If we just leave, pull our troops out, might the terrorists, Al Qaeda, the Taliban take over Afghanistan? Sure, but should that be a big concern to us? Maybe not. And maybe we could talk to whatever government ends up in charge there. If we step up the war, more of us and more of them will die. "Jaw-jaw," Winston Churchill once said, "is better than war-war."
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile