The plan has failed and the second term is underway. It is very doubtful that Obama, whose big plan for Afghanistan was to copy the Bush plan for Iraq that he denounced in the Senate, has a backup plan. Brennan certainly does not. Secretary of State John Kerry is spending a lot of time talking about Global Warming while waiting a week for a callback from Russia. It’s hard to think of a worse bunch of people in whose hands to put the fate of the nation and the world.
Both Bush and Obama largely missed the point of September 11, which is that it matters less how many training camps Al Qaeda has in some desert where there are more drugs and RPGs than people, but how many operatives they have in the United States. The terrorist attacks carried out by Al Qaeda in America all required that their operatives either be in the United States or have permission to enter it. The truly dangerous training camps aren’t in Mali or in Afghanistan; they are in Jersey City and Minneapolis. The easiest way to stop the next Al Qaeda terrorist attack is to end immigration from the Muslim world.
That is not a position that any presidential candidate, Republican or Democrat, is likely to run on any time soon. Instead anyone who wants the job is salivating at the prospect of pinning Green Cards to anyone with a university degree. Articulating it is taboo even in Israel. And yet after Afghanistan, the United States might find that it has no choice but to build that southern border fence and to slash immigration from the more explosive parts of the world. That revelation may not come tomorrow, but it likely will come.
In Israel, it was Rabin who stated that Gaza had to be taken out of Tel Aviv and who began the construction of the West Bank security barrier because he realized that terrorism would destroy the peace process. An American Rabin may well be a liberal who is forced to come to the realization that the only way to avoid constant conflicts with the Muslim world is to begin cutting off the flow of Muslim immigrants to America.
Such a realization, if it ever comes, is still a long way off. For now the drone war remains a clumsy fallback position. As long as there are no major terrorist attacks, the limited drone strikes are enough to satisfy most Americans. But when one of the Al Qaeda franchises begins poring over blueprints of a major American landmark and another September 11 follows, then the question that has been held in abeyance after Afghanistan will suddenly reappear. What do we do now?
Originally published at Sultan Knish.