Every question has to be on the table

Dark energy, dark matter

Note: The story of Obama bin Laden and the world’s obsession with protecting their interest and imagined security, is a perfect example of how thought (energy)  creates reality (matter).  So let us take heart and see what is true and then go about changing the thinking.  This is how we create our world. A recent news analysis on the occasion of the death of Osama bin Laden from today’s New York Times (which, by the way is turning to a rather noteworthy truth caster), is an opportunity of helping us seeing what is true.  What appears is on the outside is merely a projection of the inside. 

Killing Adds to Debate About U.S. Strategy and Timetable in AfghanistanBy MARK LANDLER, THOM SHANKER and ALISSA J. RUBIN
Published: May 2, 2011

WASHINGTON — The killing of Osama bin Laden deep in Pakistan is sure to fuel the debate over the Obama administration’s strategy in Afghanistan, where 100,000 troops are still fighting a war to destroyAl Qaeda. And the raid, conducted without the cooperation or even advance knowledge of Pakistan, raised fresh doubts about the lengthy American effort to turn it into a trustworthy partner in the hunt for terrorists.

As President Obama approaches a critical period in deciding how many troops to pull out of Afghanistan — and how fast — the deadly raid on Al Qaeda’s leader called into question many of the administration’s basic assumptions about how to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for Islamic terrorists.

On Monday, administration officials insisted that their commitments to Afghanistan and Pakistan would be undiminished by the death of Bin Laden. But they said privately that the pressure would mount on Mr. Obama to withdraw troops more quickly.

John O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, said Pakistan would remain a critical partner in the fight against terrorism, regardless of what he conceded were questions about whether its government provided support to Bin Laden and disagreements about counterterrorism strategy. And he said the large NATOtroop presence in Afghanistan was still necessary to prevent that country from again becoming a “launching point” for Al Qaeda.

But officials in the State Department and Pentagon, as well as key lawmakers, said Bin Laden’s death was bound to alter the debate about a costly war soon to enter its second decade. Those questions will be even more pointed, on the eve of an election year and amid growing alarm about thefederal budget deficit.

“Every question has to be on the table in terms of where this is going,” said Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who will hold hearings on the policy this week. “What this does is initiate a possibility for re-evaluating what kind of transition we need in Afghanistan.”

Pentagon officials said they were preparing for calls for a more rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan. Critics of the war are expected to trumpet the death of Bin Laden as such a crippling blow to Al Qaeda that the movement, while remaining dangerous, is no longer an existential threat to the United States. Even before Bin Laden’s death, there was a camp within the administration and the Democratic Party — as well some voices among Republicans — calling for a rapid winding down of American involvement.

Pentagon officials acknowledged that NATO nations, many of whom already are reluctant to remain in Afghanistan, also may argue that Bin Laden’s death allows them to withdraw more rapidly than planned.

“I hope people are going to feel, on a bipartisan basis, that when you move the ball this far it’s crazy to walk off the field,” one senior administration official said. Officials who favor retaining a large troop presence said that while this was a significant victory, the security gains in Afghanistan remained fragile.

When Mr. Obama ordered an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in 2009 with a goal of disrupting, dismantling and defeating Al Qaeda, it included a broader counterinsurgency campaign to protect the population, rebuild the economy and shore up the fragile central government. This broader campaign, which goes far beyond a focused fight against Al Qaeda, is based on the goal of assuring that Afghanistan would never again become a safe haven for the terror organization.

The administration, officials said, was already moving away from this counterinsurgency strategy, toward one with more limited objectives for Afghanistan and a goal of political reconciliation with the Taliban, which once offered Al Qaeda sanctuary there. Dronestrikes and nighttime raids, of the kind that killed Bin Laden, would figure even more prominently in such a strategy, officials said.

But reconciling with the Taliban will require an active role by Pakistan, which provides a haven for Taliban leaders. The strains between the United States and Pakistan could make that process more difficult. And Bin Laden’s death near Islamabad has rekindled suspicions in Afghanistan. On Monday, Afghan officials were withering in their criticism of Pakistan as the locus of terrorism.

“Pakistan is the problem, and the West has to pay attention,” said Amrullah Saleh, the former intelligence director of Afghanistan, who resigned last summer. Though jubilant at the death of Bin Laden, he said it was time for the United States to “wake up to the fact that Pakistan is a hostile state exporting terror.”

President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan was more diplomatic but said Bin Laden’s death should speed the end of the war.

“We said that the fight against terrorism is not in bombing women and children of Afghanistan,” Mr. Karzai said to a meeting of Afghan district leaders on Monday. “The fight against terrorism is in its sanctuaries, in its training bases and in its financing centers, not in Afghanistan, and now it’s proved that we were right.”

Mr. Obama has set a deadline of July for beginning a withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan. As the White House begins to debate how many troops should leave and how quickly, Pentagon officials and military officers said they expected additional pressure to reassess the strategy and accelerate a withdrawal.

Officials pointed to one unexpected benefit of the raid: American allies in the Persian Gulf believe that Iran may be chastened, however temporarily, by evidence of a forceful operation by the United States to protect its national security interests — and one that required violating the sovereignty of another nation.

Although Mr. Brennan acknowledged questions about Pakistan’s trustworthiness, the administration sought to keep relations calm. Mr. Obama called President Asif Ali Zardari. The administration’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman, arrived in Islamabad on Monday for previously scheduled three-way talks between the United States, Pakistan and Afghanistan. A previously scheduled conference between top-level American and Pakistan defense officials convened Monday at the Pentagon, and will continue Tuesday. Still, the next few days and weeks could prove bumpy, American and Pakistani officials said, as the two side try to rebuild trust.

“Pakistan is a huge country with lots of people, some of whom unfortunately sympathize with the goals of terrorists,” said Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington. “But their presence in the country should not be interpreted as, in any way, state complicity.”

Mark Landler and Thom Shanker reported from Washington, and Alissa J. Rubin from Kabul, Afghanistan.

About Michaela

I am a wanderer and a wonderer, like you are. I love our journey and to walk in the company of friends – to learn, experience, share, laugh, cry and above all I simply love this marvelous, magical, mysterious life. I have no plan (cannot believe I am saying this) and my only intention is to be truthful to myself and others.
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3 Responses to Every question has to be on the table

  1. Michaela says:

    Another excellent article on Al Jazeera

    After Osama: Stop feeding the beast


  2. fatima says:

    Good article and probably a lot of truths in it. “Hunting” for Osama has been a longstanding cash cow for the Pakistani government/military. Why on earth would you want to find him.

    Another good lesson from the anti “Capitalism as It Is Commonly Understood” play book. That throwing money at a problem is never the solution or, certainly, not the most important part of it.

    Whereas, unconscious behavior is always a major part of any “problem” especially on the collective level.

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