President Obama warned Friday that the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan is 'increasingly perilous.'
He acknowledged that, after seven years of fighting, 'the war rages on,' and that '2008 was the deadliest year of the war for American troops.' He said intelligence reports indicate that terrorists are actively plotting to harm Americans from their safe havens in Pakistan.
In his speech, the president outlined his strategy to revive the war that his commanders in Afghanistan say they're not winning. The key pillars include more troops and training for Afghanistan and more treasure for Pakistan.
I like Obama, but this may be a mistake. Perhaps the CIA now has some really good intelligence? Of course since it keeps firing gay linguists, this is somewhat suspect. I do agree with Obama though that af-pak is a very dangerous region - a source of terror, because of the A-bombs there, and because tectonic movements are liable to upset any government. On the whole I think Iran is less dangerous.
A good deal of the political problems the US is facing in both af-pak and Mexico could be curtailed by a new drugs policy. Although I am very much aware that cocaine and heroin are dangerous drugs, I think the violence surrounding them are much worse. Make them legal: give coca leave and opium poppy growers a way to live that is dependent on peace, and a whole lot of areas will be pacified.
Meanwhile, give heroin via prescription to addicts, decriminalise and tax cocaine, and thereby cut off the western funding of the destabilisers.