December 20, 2011

Where I give Joe Biden the benefit of the doubt

There's a lot of chatter about the following quote from Joe Biden:

Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. Thatís critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests.

The second half of that statement is really reaching. The Taliban are inextricably linked to Al-Qaeda so he's trying to drive a wedge between them. In fact, I submit that he's trying to extend a hand to the Taliban to bring them into the political process. If you keep them excluded forever you'll have war with them forever. Let's look at the second half of his quote:

If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us. So thereís a dual track here:

One, continue to keep the pressure on al Qaeda and continue to diminish them. Two, put the government in a position where they can be strong enough that they can negotiate with and not be overthrown by the Taliban. And at the same time try to get the Taliban to move in the direction to see to it that they, through reconciliation, commit not to be engaged with al Qaeda or any other organization that they would harbor to do damage to us and our allies.

He's right. He's taking a beating for overreach on the "not our enemy" part and rightly so. Unfortunately it means his central point is buried.


Posted by Duffy at December 20, 2011 10:13 AM | TrackBack

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