What war are these guys talking about?

NY Times Editorial:

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The United States removed the Taliban from power in Afghanistan in 2001 as it sought to stamp out the Al Qaeda militants behind the 9/11 attacks. More than seven years later, the Taliban and Al Qaeda are stronger than ever....

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This statement is absurd on its face and demonstrates some of the hysteria behind the reporting on this war. Clearly the Taliban were stronger when they controlled the government and most of the country and al Qaeda was stronger when they operated under Taliban protection in Afghanistan. Since that time, al Qaeda has lost much of its operation leadership which has been either killed, captured or forced to keep head down.

The recent UAV attacks in Pakistan have killed or disrupted much of the remaining operational leadership of al Qaeda. The decision to spread those attacks to Taliban leaders will also reap benefits. The Taliban is down to about 20,000 fighters now which is a far cry from where it was when it controlled the country.

The praise for the Obama policy fails to take into account the fact that it continues to operate a small foot print policy and starve the commanders of the forces they need and that they requested. It is going back to the failed policies of the Johnson administration using incrementalism. This will make it a longer and more bloody war.

Does Obama really think that the people of Pakistan want the same thing we want? Since when do we want Shari'a law? Pakistan has a lot of people who do not want what we want or they would not be so receptive to Taliban sanctuaries. That being said, the al Qaeda operatives are unpopular and there has been little to no local protest of our strikes against them regardless of the media spin. But, the government has been reluctant to let US forces train their troops in counterinsurgency warfare which is what is needed to destroy thsoe sanctuaries.

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