Sent to you by Sean McBride via Google Reader: Obama and the Middle
East, Part II via The Nation: The Dreyfuss Report by Robert Dreyfuss on
'This is the second part of a five-part series on Barack Obama's Middle
East. Yesterday, Part I covered the so-called War on Terror. Today, in
Part II, the subject is Afghanistan and Pakistan. The series will
continue all week.'

During the last three months of 2008, I spent a lot of time
interviewing many of Barack Obama's advisers on Afghanistan and
Pakistan. To summarize their collective view: the war in Afghanistan
cannot be won militarily. Instead, it will require a combination of
military power, state building, training of the Afghan National Army,
economic support and development aid, regional diplomacy (including
Iran, India, and Russia), and negotiations with "reconcilable" elements
of the Taliban-led insurgency. But, they argue, it is impossible at
present to conduct useful talks with even moderate components of the
Taliban, because the Taliban believes that it is winning the war. Thus,
Obama's advisers say, a military surge is necessary not to "win" the
war in Afghanistan but to stabilize the situation and to convince the
Islamist insurgent leaders to come to the bargaining table. (Take a
look at my piece in 'The Nation', "Obama's Afghan Dilemma.")

It is a dangerously flawed strategy. And it is one that could unravel
Obama's presidency.
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