This is actually a question that many inside national defense circles are asking right now. A pullout of Afghanistan would be bad enough, but loosing Pakistan
to a group like the Taliban would be a nightmare on a scale that the world has never known.
First, we would be drawn in to support Pakistan and protect/evacuate the nukes.
If we failed in the above task, war (maybe nuclear) with India would most certainly be the next issue. India would likely start it to prevent an unprovoked attack from Pakistan.
To avoid the above, the US and hopefully NATO would have to launch a full scale assault on the country to ensure that Taliban leaders are not delivering fissile material or even bombs to Al Qaeda. This would cost us considerable life and treasure to achieve.
It would be a crisis on a global scale.
I have to believe that Obama understands this and will ultimately act. If, as you infer, he is truly lost in his own politics and ineptitude, we are in for one hell of a ride.
Exactly right, Chuck. It seems the Obama Administration’s policy horizon moves according to whether the predicted outcome is positive for them. In the case of Afghanistan, they see ahead only as far as our troops move out, and not to the further consequences of that decision. Liberals want troops out, therefore that’s all that matters.
Similarly, the White House saw only as far as the moment that Guantanamo closed, and no further. Only when public and world opposition to the consequences of that decision forced them to look further did they begin pondering where the released and/or moved prisoners might end up.
Contrast this with the health care debate. For something as critical, urgent, and revolutionary as he believes this effort is, he is willing to postpone its impact (read: its cost) until after the next election. His preferred narrative includes cost savings over years, if not decades. His budgetary impact focuses on long-term forecasts, not immediate results.
But even in health care, we’re forbidden from playing out some of the implicit consequences of the bill. You’re being unfair if you say that the public option will end private health care — it’s not in the bill, so it won’t happen. You’re being absurd when you say that the bill’s reductions in Medicare “fraud and waste” will result in less health care for the elderly. You’re lying if you make the case that a health care board tasked with optimizing care and recommending courses of treatment might foreclose certain options from the public (and you’re even worse if you call this rationing). And if you acknowledge the time-honored practice in Washington of claiming savings here, while restoring the spending there, you’re ignoring the fundamental change that Obama has brought to Washington — the old politics is over, dontcha know.
No, in the Obama Administration, predictions are permitted only to the extent they produce a liberal result. Anything else is placing cynical limitations on the power of hope and change.