Thursday, June 24, 2010

General McChrystal - Good Riddance, Now it is time to bring in a new Defense Secretary

General McChrystal's insubordination and inappropriate comments about his superiors and especially the Commander-in-Chief earned him a well deserved sack. Anything less would have been perceived as a weakness on President Obama's part.

Letting McChrystal off the hook would have opened doors to insubordination from other military officers. What is surprising however, is the rumor that Defense Secretary Robert Gates pleaded for a lesser punishment. If this is true, then it is a matter of great concern. How can the Defense Secretary not ask for full and proper punishment. In fact, it is President Obama's open mindedness to invite the General to the Oval office to explain his conduct, otherwise he could have just asked the Defense Secretary to relieve him of his command.

Robert Gates has served many a President, but he may have too much baggage from the past. In these changed times, President Obama needs to appoint a new Defense Secretary to implement his policies, someone whose thinking is completely aligned with the President.

The war in Iraq may be winding down, though the after effects of a total withdrawal are yet to emerge. However, things are not going well in Afghanistan. McChrystal may have befriended the Afghans, but his surge is not working. Taliban are a different breed altogether, each time NATO forces launch a major attack, they simply melt away and regroup to start the fight elsewhere another day. Instead of reducing, their numbers are increasing.

It is time to rethink the Afghan strategy entirely. No foreign force has ever defeated the Afghan people, and this war IS against the Afghan people, be they under the garb of Taliban. It is time to wind down the war and implement an exit strategy based on a political settlement. For that, the President needs to put on his thinking cap and he also needs new leadership at Pentagon.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

US Capitualtes to Israel Again - Who runs the US Foreign Policy: AIPAC or the White House?

The Israeli attack on unarmed ships carrying relief goods for Gaza has been squarely condemned by Governments around the world, except the US Government, which has not had the courage to call a spade a spade.

Attacking ships in international waters is piracy under the international law. After this incidence, there is no difference between Somali pirates and Israeli forces attacking ships in international waters - except that Somali pirates don't usually kill.

It is appalling that US has blocked and watered down the UN Security Council resolution in a most shameful manner. Instead of a resolution condemning Israel's actions, it has tabled a watered down resolution that is utterly meaningless.

US also blocked efforts to call for an international investigation, instead it insisted on Israel holding the investigation. This is akin to asking a shooter who has just killed several people to head an investigation into his own actions!

Who controls the US foreign policy, the White House or Israel i.e. AIPAC. It is unfortunate that US has surrendered its sovereignty to Israel. Being the largest super power in the world, it has a moral duty to do the right thing - condemn what is wrong and applaud what is right. By taking a one sided position, it is lowering its stature in the world. Such actions are only likely to strengthen the hands of hate mongering terrorists, who propagate that US is not an honest broker.

Great nations do not surrender their sovereignty to other countries, history has shown us that nations who take unjust actions ultimately lose their power in the world.

Hillary Clinton, being in charge of US foreign policy should show grit and resign to demonstrate her unhappiness at the US foreign policy being hijacked from under her feet.