Random thoughts on several topics:
1. War in Afghanistan. Well, I have to give credit where credit is due. The Obama administration has made some gains in the Afghan war. Drone attacks have been significantly stepped up in the past year, and seem to accomplishing goals. Quite a few Taliban & al Qaeda targets have been taken out. This week’s revelation that the #2 Taliban leader was captured in Pakistan further illustrates progress there. Mind you, it’s probably driving the “bring ’em all home” crowd nuts, but they haven’t been as vocal about Afghanistan as they are Iraq. This is probably the biggest (only?) area where Obama is leading from a centrist position compared to his campaign.
2. Special notes on Capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. What makes the capture of this Taliban military commander especially noteworthy is it happened in Pakistan, with the help of Pakistani forces. I have long felt that Taliban influences in Pakistan government and military were hindering our efforts there–at least by not disclosing all information and possibly tipping off Taliban and al Qaeda insurgents. Guess they have finally figured out they are going nowhere as long as they align with the Taliban.
Also, officials have publicly stated that Baradar is providing valuable intel. I’m sure this is because he is being held by the Pakistani government. The Obama administration has made sure that no terrorist fears an American interrogation, but they will be very aware of the techniques available to the Pakistanis!
3. Biden & Iraq. This information is from Gary Bauer’s email of yesterday (16 Feb 2010), as I try to avoid listening to Joe Biden’s comments. Last week he predicted that success in Iraq would be one of Obama’s “great achievements.” This comes after both Biden & Obama voted AGAINST the Iraqi surge in 2007. It is that very surge (proposed by General Petraeus) that Bush put into place that was the turning point in the military efforts in Iraq. Another moment of “audacity” for this administration . . .
4. Anniversary of the so-called “stimulus.” I’ll just include this, courtesy of Lori Ziganto.