American ambassadors celebrated Independence Day from the tranquility of the Bahamas to the front line in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan, where U.S. soldiers are sacrificing their lives for a government that calls them "occupiers."
President Obama lost the war in Afghanistan during the "Great Dithering" of 2009. This was the period when he had all his advisers, including noted national security strategists David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, huddled together loosely for about nine months. They were trying to find the most politically viable way to deliver on Mr. Obama's campaign promises to personally track down Osama bin Laden and put his head on a pike while simultaneously running the corrupt Karzai regime out of town. Well, they failed in those efforts and now are simply trying to find a way to start leaving in time for Mr. Obama's re-election campaign.
The questions go back and forth between the U.S. ambassador in Kabul, Karl W. Eikenberry, who once was the military commander in Afghanistan, and "special envoy" for "AfPak" Richard C. Holbrooke, usually airborne; Deputy Secretaries of State James B. Steinberg and Jacob J. Lew; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, also frequently airborne; and Mr. Eikenberry's four deputies, who also hold the rank of ambassador. A lot of cooks have produced a thin diplomatic and economic gruel. CYA (cover you're a**) appears to be the operative phrase that holds it all together.
The inappropriate comments by Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and his staff about civilian leaders reflected a widespread frustration with White House infighting over the general's one-year-old war plan.
Now that President Obama has replaced the top general in Afghanistan, some key senators said Sunday he needs to consider reshuffling his diplomatic leadership there as well.
America is heading toward a colossal defeat in Afghanistan. Unless there is a dramatic change in policy and leadership, the United States will suffer the most calamitous military setback in its history - one that will mark the end of the American moment, the loss of superpower status in the eyes of the world.
The firing of Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, was preceded by a short political death watch among senior military brass.