When I originally posted on Afghanistan two days ago, it was for two purposes: to highlight how the inability of many to see the threat from Communist China was coloring opinions of the war, and to explain why I thought a Democratic president will end that war prematurely. Unfortunately, it wasn't until after I posted it that I realized how long the post was, and more importantly, the post's imbalance between the two purposes. I stand by what I wrote, but I'm not sure it is as germane to this blog as to the others I am posting. Additionally, I thought I should also go into further detail as to the effect of the Afghanistan battle on Cold War II (similar to my earlier posts on Iraq, Iran, Syria, and North Korea). So here goes.
I have written extensively on Communist China's ties to terrorist states (see the links in the paragraph above), and I have commented on Communist China's ties to al Qaeda and the Taliban (the most extensive link is here). However, few seem to notice, let alone hold Communist China to account, even today. This has led to major errors in examining the situation in Afghanistan - and those errors are certainly bipartisan.
The biggest mistake that has evolved from the "engagement" mentality on Communist China is the prevailing view of Pakistan. Nearly every analysis I have seen of Pakistan's recent coziness with the Taliban (and the subsequent boost to al Qaeda) has ignored Pakistan's nearly six-decade alliance with Communist China. For anyone who thinks the Communists were not interested in using Pakistan to thwart our objectives, take a look at this link again); the Communists all but ordered Pakistan not to allow American troops on its soil. Had Pakistan listened, it would have been almost impossible to bring American troops into Afghanistan.
Communist China also made abundantly clear, numerous times, that it had no desire to see either American troops or a pro-American government in Afghanistan (Willy Lam, CNN). That its longtime ally (and Afghanistan's neighbor) would see the Taliban in a very different light then we do should surprise no one.
The second, and equally dangerous, mistake the powers that be have made is to separate the Afghanistan war from the geopolitics of the region. I have seen innumerable media reports on Afghanistan, which have included several references to Pakistan, but I can count the references to India in these pieces on one hand. This geopolitical myopia comes despite the fact that India did more to aid anti-Taliban forces than anyone else in the world prior to September 11. Thus, those who do (or would) support a withdrawal from Afghanistan would do incalculable damage to U.S.-India ties. Alienating the largest and most economically dynamic democracy on earth is never a good idea, yet hardly anyone seems to take this into account.
The last, but hardly least, mistake from all this is to assume that Communist China is either neutral or friendly in the War on Terror (or as I prefer, the Wahhabist-Ba'athist-Khomeinist War). It is not. In fact, whether it's Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Lebanon, or Afghanistan, the "theatres" in the WBK War have become a part of Cold War II. Thus, if we were to abandon the Afghan people, it would be as much a victory for Communist China as it would be for the terrorists.
If more Americans understood this, support for the liberation of Afghanistan would be far higher than the 56% it has now. As for my earlier assumptions about the Democrats, there is simply no decent anti-Communist Democrat running for President right now. If the Democratic field included Sherrod Brown, Robert Andrews, or Robert Wexler (for example), my previous post would have looked very different (title included).
My analysis of American politics aside, the fact is this: the defeat of the Taliban and al Qaeda is as central to victory in the Second Cold War as it is in the WBK War. If more Americans understood this, it would lead to some more clear-eyed views on Pakistan's real allegiance and India's importance. As it is, the tunnel vision of our leaders (from both parties) is making this battle much harder to win.