Even two weeks after his Afghanistan speech, the world is questioning the notions at the basis of President Barack Obama's doctrine. The latest surprise is the suggestion of a carrot and stick policy for the Taliban
Expectedly, US President Barak Obama has defended his Afghanistan policy in his Nobel Peace Prize speech as a watershed event. Like his predecessor, George Bush Junior, he also cautioned the world of the consequences of not supporting the American war against Islamists. But at home, his policy has evoked a mixed response. The reasons would appear to be obvious.
In one breath Obama talks of pulling out US troops in 18 months and also his determination to bring the `war' in Afghanistan to a successful conclusion without making an `open-ended commitment.' Despatch of extra 30,000 US troops to the embattled country is in his view good enough evidence of his determination to win. At the same time he admits the war in Afghanistan can be won only when the last vestiges of the al-Qaeda and the Taliban are stamped out from not only the Afghan soil but also in their `safe havens' across the border in Pakistan.
The dichotomy in the Obama doctrine is therefore clear to the naked eye. Can anyone fix a time table for the decimation of terrorist groups? By announcing a sort of deadline for US pullout, he has assured the terrorist groups that all they have to do is to hold out for a year and a half before going on rampage in Afghanistan and beyond.
The return of Taliban rule in Afghanistan cannot be the end objective of the US policy. In fact, it will be a nightmare for an America that is already quite paranoid about threat from terrorists even though the 9/11 has remained a solitary instance for the US.