Cole in Salon: Obama is Wrong on Afghanistan

My Salon column, , “Obama is saying the Wrong things about Afghanistan,” , is now available online.

Excerpt:

‘ The governor of the North-West Frontier province, Owais Ghani, immediately spoke out against Obama, saying that the senator’s remarks had the effect of undermining the new civilian government elected last February. Ghani warned that a U.S. incursion into the northwestern tribal areas would have “disastrous” consequences for the globe.

The governor underlined that a “war on terrorism” policy depended on popular support for it, and that such support was being leeched away by U.S. strikes on the Pakistan side of the border and by statements such as Obama’s. A recent American attack mistakenly killed Pakistani troops who had been sent to fight the Pakistani Taliban at American insistence. The Pakistani public was furious. Ghani complained, “Candidate Obama gave these statements; I come out openly and say such statements undermine support, don’t do it.” ‘

Read the whole thing.

See also Barnett Rubin’s recent essays on Afghanistan at ICGA.

And at the same site, don’t miss Farideh Farhi’s analysis of the Iranian negotiations with the US and Europe over its civilian nuclear research program.