In announcing his new Afghanistan policy for accelerated troop withdrawals, the President has effectively declared that the war on radical Islamic jihad is entering a new phase–that of counter terrorism. The counterinsurgency strategy will ramp down–that of nation building, and the lengthy entrenchment of our troops to eliminate insurgent forces. Most of the U.S. military command was opposed to the President’s accelerated troop draw down, which is not a healthy military sign.
The evolving political landscape in the greater Middle East, in Egypt, Libya, Syria,Yemen,Bahrain and other nations creates a long term challenge to American interests in the region. The ascendency of Iran under the clerics to strengthen ties with Iraq and Afghanistan, and to supply the Shia in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan with more lethal weapons, as America’s involvement in this region recedes, increases the overall Iranian threat.
While the accelerated Afghan draw down appears almost exclusively based on Obama’s political agenda, Uncle Sam may find it increasingly to its advantage to downsize in the Greater Middle East, in order to gain leverage over its own domestic spending and debt crisis. However,there is no doubt there will be negative effects on our overall position in the Greater Middle East. This being said, America has little choice but to mind to its own knitting on the home front in order to survive the fiscal crisis which threatens to bury the nation. New leadership in the White House will be required to successfully refocus the nation’s priorities and restore growth and prosperity.The current administration has utterly failed this nation on the economic front, and it is time that it goes!