From the ABC article:
In a strikingly bold speech about terrorism scheduled for this morning, Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Sen. Barack Obama will call not only for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, but a redeployment of troops into Afghanistan and even Pakistan — with or without the permission of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.
"I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges," Obama will say, according to speech excerpts provided to ABC News by his campaign, "but let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will."
Sounds good, but let's look at this from a realistic perspective for a moment.
Just a week ago, it was Obama that made some reckless comment about initiating a dialogue with nations like Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela, setting off a huge firestorm. And now we hear how the Illinois senator wants to get tough on those holed up in the northern region of Pakistan. My, how we travel.
Hillary responded by called the statement naive. And for a brief moment, I think she's right on something. He is naive, not only for his commets last week, but for thinking something like this would work.
Obama must not think that this has already been thought of, at some point along the way. It has, and it has been nixed for some very good reasons. Anyone that knows anything at all about military tactical operations can clearly understand how difficult this would be. Obama needs to ask himself one pointed question, from a tactical standpoint. If success has eluded us in the desert where there are many that support our efforts, how much easier does he think this would be in mountainous regions, where there is almost no support for this kind of action at all? Trying to send in armor and troops to such an unforgiving terrain would be one of the most difficult tasks, ever asked of our military.
But if that's not enough to convince you, let's take a couple of the anti-war crowd's current arguments and apply them to this.
1. Pakistan never attacked us - In fact, they have been working with us, as much as we can realistically expect, given the political climate that currently exists in that country. Furthermore, it's one thing to alienate a dictator that openly stands against the U.S. and its interests, but it's quite another to slap one in the face that isn't. Doing this would create a huge international political crisis.
2. An attack on the northern regions of Pakistan, would result in an enormous amount of civilian casualties - That's a good one, because this is one we have heard ad nauseum, for the entire duration of the Iraq war. The people we would be targeting would simply hide in the caves, during air strikes. The people left in the open, would be the ones getting hit. Doing this would create a huge humanitarian crisis.
Look, Musharraf couldn't root out these people, it's a safe bet we would not succeed either. The only way we could do it would be to annihilate the region (which we could do). But, to do this, we would further alienate ourselves from the rest of the world, by becoming a target of condemnation from those that are already condemning us for trying to tip-toe our way through Iraq. Furthermore, by just suggesting this as a proposed strategy, Obama risks losing support from his base, which is made up of a significant amount of anti-war supporters.
No folks, this sounds good on the campaign trail. But it has little merit in the real world, unless we really want to become the pariah in the eyes of the rest of the world. So, forgive me if I just write this off as one of those "say anything to get elected" moments.
To those that think Obama really believes in what he is proposing here, take a look at this new poll.
Then ask yourself if this isn't a response to that poll. His numbers dropped significantly in one week, after his reckless comment on meeting with leaders of rogue nations. Am I supposed to believe that this was something that has been cooking for awhile in the boardroom at Obama HQ?