Sunday, April 05, 2009

"Oceania was Always at War with Eurasia" of the Day

I thought this wasn't gonna happen once George Bush wasn't in charge:
European leaders are expected to resist American pressure today to join in the Pentagon's military "surge" in Afghanistan, disappointing Barack Obama. The US president has made the campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaida the centrepiece of his new foreign policy.

A Nato summit opening in France and Germany will also struggle to commit civilian resources to match the increased US military deployments, may fail to agree on a new alliance secretary general despite months of negotiation, and is also split over policy towards a resurgent Russia. . .

With the campaign in Afghanistan repeatedly said to be Nato's biggest challenge and a test of whether the alliance will survive in the long term, the new White House appears frustrated with European reluctance. "What we expect and want is for people to look at themselves and make commitments on what they will do," said a senior US official.

But a senior German politician said public opinion in his country no longer shared the view that Germany's security was being protected "in the Hindu Kush".

"For internal political reasons, we're not in a position to produce massive new troops," said a senior European Union official. "And the scale of a civilian surge needed to match the US military surge is not there yet either."

British officials denied UK press reports that London could agree to send 2,000 more troops, raising the British contingent in Afghanistan to 10,000. "What the UK brings to the table is the civil side, the development side, not the military side," said a senior official. "There are no plans, there have been no requests," said another diplomat.

Resigned to a half-hearted response from the Europeans on Afghanistan, the Americans have already scaled back demands in order to avoid being snubbed publicly and will instead focus on manpower to train the Afghan police and to enhance security in the run-up to elections in Afghanistan in August.

"We feared this would be the first acrimonious disappointment with the Obama administration," said the EU official, "but they became realistic and asked instead what can we deliver."

4 comments:

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Carl, Bob, OBH, and others - Do you think Obama always knew this would be the response but talked a different game to get elected, or that he believed his own hype and thought he could talk the Europeans into doing what he wanted?

Either way it's discouraging, but I'd like to know what kind of discouraging we've gotten ourselves into.

OBloodyHell said...

> I'd like to know what kind of discouraging we've gotten ourselves into

The Jimmy Carter kind, as I've been predicting since his nomination -- the economic downturn just restored the Carteresque state of the economy for his inauguration.

We'll know how well people have picked up on all this in next year's elections. If there is the kind of heavy turn towards "anyone but the Dems", that'll be a good sign.

To be honest, now IS the best time to start a new third party. I think the level of overall dissatisfaction with both sides is capable of tossing out one or the other, and I think it'll be the Dems.

A smart middle-road, classical-liberal collective could push the Dems away forever, as they marginalize around an ever-decreasing Green-Hippie base.

But don't think the GOP is immune, either -- some true fiscal conservatives, promising some sense from government could munch their lunch, too. Neither side is immune to the level of public dissatisfaction I expect is going to be the political centerpiece of the 201x decade.

That looming SoSec crisis, plus the all-too-slow fade of the ME generation in favor of the much more sensible Gen-Xers is going to play out in a Chinese-style "interesting" manner

Carl said...

He believed his own hype--it always had worked before in the lesser jobs he filled. He just didn't realize that--when you're THE MAN--it's not that easy.

OBloodyhell said...

> He believed his own hype--it always had worked before in the lesser jobs he filled. He just didn't realize that--when you're THE MAN--it's not that easy.

HE stopped and The Buck didn't. Ouch, that's gotta hurt.

:oD