Holdovers from the Bush administration, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus, boxed President Obama into a counterinsurgency “surge” during the 2009 policy review for Afghanistan. Now, Obama has a chance to go in a different direction, but he may be too intimidated, observes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
Exclusive: The looming U.S. defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan represent a threat to the political fortunes of America’s neocons — if they get blamed for the disasters. However, if they can hang the failures around President Obama’s neck, the two lost wars might help bring the neocons back to power as early as 2013, writes Robert Parry.
Before his murder last month, Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad detailed how al-Qaeda leaders used the 9/11 attacks to induce “cowboy” President George W. Bush to blunder foolishly into the invasions of two Muslim countries, thus advancing an al-Qaeda strategy to discredit the region’s U.S.-connected leaders, reports Gareth Porter.
U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that American success in the Afghan War requires Pakistani help in rooting out Taliban safe havens along the border but that Pakistan is unwilling to turn against its longtime Taliban allies – a conundrum that continues to bedevil the Obama administration and U.S. military commanders, writes Gareth Porter in this…