Obama: 8,400 troops to remain in Afghanistan
In the campaign of 2008 Barack Obama called GW's invasion of Iraq for purposes of regime change "stupid," but endorsed just such a war in Afghanistan.
If we agree ISIS has to go because we can't accept a regime owned and operated by Jihaders and terrorists, it is arguable control of Afghanistan by the Taliban had to end both because of their partnership with Al-Qaeda and because they were themselves the original Jihader regime.
And that is why O cannot get our troops quite fully out of that country.
The US cannot risk a Taliban recovery of control in Afghanistan.
Imagine the threat to Pakistan, a nuclear armed state, already besieged by its own Taliban Jihaders.
And that is what is absolutely unacceptable, nukes in the hands of Jihaders.
Hence the fear of nukes in the hands of Iran and the brief, abortive effort by American forces to find and seize Pakistan's nukes during the initial actions against Taliban-governed Afghanistan.
An effort that failed because the American press including if not led by The New York Times found out it was under way and immediately published the news for the world, including the Pakistani government, too see.
For which the folks who made that decision to publish should still be rotting in jail.
As to Iran, by the way, if it's worth a war to keep nukes out of the hands Jihaders it's probably worth a war to keep them out of the hands of the Islamic Republic, whose policy is to oppose Sunni Jihaders while supporting Shiite ones.
I don't like saying that and am not entirely comfortable with the idea.
But the establishment in Iran of the Islamic Republic was a real boost to the rise of contemporary Muslim extremism in all its forms.
I thought at the time the Iranian Revolution meant nothing but trouble and that Carter and our classe politique were making a big mistake, not expending any effort to keep the Shah in power and then doing nothing to stop the Islamist coup that got rid of the short-lived secular republic that succeeded him.
I was sure of the former point and history has borne me out.
I was and am less sure of the latter.
Reagan ran and won in 1980 on Carter's humiliation by the Ayatollah's new regime, but he then merely broke the law trading arms for hostages and did nothing to put an end to the Islamic Republic, though if I recall correctly he did aid Iraq in the subsequent Iran-Iraq War.