By Pepe Escobar
"Announcing his new State Department, United States President Barack Obama stressed "America's commitment to lead". But lead where? Where's the boldness, the real change of mindset? The Pentagon's "arc of instability" hovers over Obama's "Clinton-3" State Department like a ghostly self-fulfilling prophecy. Unless, of course, the Obama White House really kicks out ideology and steers the US back to politics....
This will be a long war, which happens to be another Pentagon denomination for the "war on terror". Envoy Holbrooke himself said so, in a Foreign Affairs article published before the US presidential election: "The situation in Afghanistan is far from hopeless. But as the war enters its eighth year, Americans should be told the truth: it will last a long time - longer than the United States' longest war to date, the 14-year conflict [1961-75] in Vietnam."
A new Vietnam? No wonder progressive America is having a collective heart attack. This means, among other things, that Holbrooke will not talk to the Taliban - or the neo-Taliban in Pakistan. He will go all the way for Obama's surge - more US troops, more NATO troops and hardcore Vietnam-style counter-insurgency across the Hindu Kush. Obama needed only three days in office to already draw his first blood inside the Pakistani tribal areas....... "