May 7, 2009
Extending the war in Irak will probably be regarded by pundits as the biggest foreign policy blunder the US has made in recent memory. Much as a consequence of it, the war in Afghanistan has been fought with less resolve, enabling Al-Qaida and the Talibans to regain their strength and challenge the Western forces present there. Furthermore, in Europe and elsewhere nobody believes in the US’s role as “the beacon of freedom” anymore, since Irak is an oil-producing country and Afghanistan is not.
The recent announcement by the Obama Administration of refocusing US military efforts on defeating Al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan is, therefore, a welcome and overdue change in US foreign policy in the region. Granted, the Pakistani and Afghan presidents are weak and largely ineffective, but with more resources coming from the US and top-level resolve to do away with the Taliban menace, positive results are to be expected in the future. Last but not least, the recent foreign policy shift will restore some of America’s lost credibility in the moderate Islamic world.Florian Pantazi