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President Obama has put securing Afghanistan near the top of his foreign policy agenda, but "victory" in the war-torn country isn't necessarily the United States' goal, he said Thursday in a TV interview.
"I'm always worried about using the word 'victory,' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur," Obama told ABC News.
Undoubtedly Central Asia’s strategic importance in international affairs
is growing. The rivalries among Russia, China, United States, Iran, India,
and Pakistan not to mention the ever-changing pattern of relations among
local states (five former Soviet republics and Afghanistan) make the region’s
importance obviously clear. Central Asia's strategic importance for Washington, Moscow, and Beijing varies with each nation’s perception of its strategic interests.
Washington focuses primarily on Central Asia as an important theater in the war on terrorism. Additionally, it is viewed as a theater where America might counter a revived Russia or China, or a place to blunt any extension of Iranian influence. Moscow and Beijing view the region as a vital locale for defending critical domestic interests. This asymmetry of interest is
And they know it!
The leaders of the largest contributors to the coalition find themselves having to justify both their reasons for deploying troops and their management of the war effort. Britain, Italy and Australia are among those adding forces a. of Afghanistan's Aug. 20 presidential election.
They say a Western pullout at this time would enable a resurgent Taliban to take over the country and give Al Qaeda more space to plan terror attacks against the West. Some emphasize humanitarian aspects of their missions, like development aid and civilian reconstruction.
A combination of unmanned aerial vehicles and sensor-laden aircraft with links to ground forces will give commanders an "unblinking eye" over the war-torn country, Michael Vickers, the Pentagon's top special operations official, said.
Use of high-technology assets proved essential in Iraq, he said, and are key to negating the Taliban's ability to plan and carry out attacks around the country.
"Systemically taking apart the network through intelligence-led operations is a very important feature of modern counterinsurgency," Vickers said.
But he added that victory in Afghanistan is up to the Afghans.