On one of the talking heads shows yesterday I heard the oft-repeated mantra “The Taliban is regaining strength in Afghanistan”. I’ve been hearing this since late 2002. At this rate they should have their own death star by now. They certainly have staying power at some level, but regaining strength seems to have been disproved by history.
If bin Laden’s intention behind 9-11 was to draw us into a quagmire in Afghanistan, and instead we invade Iraq, then wouldn’t pulling out of Iraq and moving more troops into Afghanistan pull us into said quagmire?
- The US government converts the leader of a one million member Afghan tribe from an ally to an enemy in Afghanistan. Why aren’t we just buying the opium and then burning it or selling it for legitimate purposes (there are some)? It would be much cheaper than the current fight, and also make the Afghan farmers in the most hostile areas utterly dependent on the US. Where is Nixon when you need him?
- The Snake Eater – an army of Davids helps out in the Iraq war. From concept to completion in only 30, very cool.
- Japanese Snowplow Robot!
From the Ethical Spectacle
However, I suspect that the real reason we haven’t gone after Bin Laden is because we know he is living in the lawless part of Pakistan near the Afghan border, where the resurgent Taliban are also based. This has rapidly become a new rogue state, not really under any kind of Pakistani military or political control. In addition, Al Qaeda and the Taliban are allegedly sheltered and supported by renegade elements of Pakistani intelligence who originally worked with them on the anti-Soviet effort and haven’t given them up in the post-9/11 world.
If this part of Pakistan had been a completely independent state, it would have made a lot of sense to invade it instead of Iraq (I believe we don’t have a large enough military to do both). I suspect that the reason we can’t do this is that the minute US troops land on Pakistani territory (even such independent and lawless territory) there would be a huge popular uprising in Pakistan, overthrowing our nominal ally the weak dictator-president Musharraf. The result of the incursion would be to drive a huge country with nuclear weapons over to the other side, giving Al Qaeda a large powerful playground instead of a small weak one.
- HomeSite meets C#
- Warlords of Afghanistan – not quite a fansite, but I think it’s safe to say the internet is complete.
- Windmills on Amazon
- Google invests in Plug-in Hybrids – Cal Cars curiously unmentioned.
- Martial arts and motion capture
- The quest for 100 mpg cars – doable but not pretty
- A really cool bike steady-cam I’ll probably be building soon.
- I wound up building (so to speak) this camera mount this weekend.