First, the anticipated speech by Obama on the troop drawdown in Afghanistan is not news any longer. It stopped being news when the leaks began. My judgment is that it is about time the US declared that the death of OBL and destruction of the al Qaeda operation in Afghanistan mooted the need for US and NATO troops. Nation building was not why Bush went in – the mission morphed into that particularly perverse idea. Plus, Karzai is a bigger ass than previously thought and his increasingly strident remarks about NATO and the West – who are there protecting his ass – justify, in and of themselves, a complete withdrawal. In any event, the wind-up of the 10 year war should be considered a success because, simply – the goals originally put forward for the invasion have been reached. The unplanned for break in the relationship between the US and Pakistan is another matter. End of story.
Second, what more can be said about the IMF, Brussels and Greece other than the path taken at the insistence of Germany in particular won’t work in the long-term for the cohesion of the EU and may very well bring about the collapse of the euro zone. The economies of the EU are badly out of balance and the major players are unwilling to change the dynamics. This is no longer breaking news.
Third, is anyone surprised at the time it is taking to get rid of Gadhafi? Nothing new here except, again, everyone must re-learn the basic rules of warfare – airpower is never enough and boots on the ground win battles. Unfortunately, the anti-Gadhafi forces do not have the firepower or the money to successfully bring an end to the conflict. A NATO missile (if the Europeans have any left) will end up doing it. Daily reports of casualties, mistakes and the continuing shock by Very Important Pundits that civilians are killed in wars make not a damn bit of difference. The absurd debate in the US of the legalities of involvement in Libya is a side-show for intellectual ego massage and decisions over superficialities (something at which the US Congress excels) while the intellectually challenged Republican candidates for president indulge in posturing on who can be more Christian, white and right-wing than the other.
Syria. Being in the neighborhood and the headquarters of al Jazeera, I get a full dose of the atrocities every day. No one will do anything because no one can do anything. The demonstrators are, well, on their own. End of story.
South China Sea. The entire universe seems to claim overlapping parts of it. Few are paying attention, but this zone is a legitimate flash point for a very dangerous military encounter.
South Sudan and no one mentions the oil. Why is that?
So – being somewhat bored with all the above and not the hand-wringing type, I thought that it would be more interesting, at least for me, to write about the New Old World Order – abbreviated edition. That will be the subject of the next few posts.