Skip to comments.Obama as Gorbachev
Posted on 09/30/2010 9:16:22 AM PDT by cunning_fish
One cannot help but be struck by the comparisons that can be drawn between Mikhail S. Gorbachev and Barack Obamaat least when it comes to Afghanistan. Within a year or so of taking office as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev had come to the realization that the Soviet Union needed to terminate its intervention in Afghanistan, end the mounting losses to Soviet blood and treasure, and abandon the hopes of the most radical of both the Afghan Communists as well as the most doctrinaire Soviet officials that Afghanistan could be recreated as a model "people's democracy."
Reading the excerpts from Bob Woodward's latest tome, Obama's Wars, one is repeatedly confronted with a president who, having inherited the conflict in Afghanistan, is looking for an exit strategy that will enable the United States to claim some degree of success, without bankrupting the U.S. economy or further straining the military. Afghanistan is likely to be the last of America's "big-ticket" nation-building enterprises. Given the need to "export security" (as Derek Reveron terms it) to so many parts of the globe where states are weak or face challenges that could be exploited by groups seeking to do us harm, we are likely to have a multiplicity of missions that resemble our decade-long engagement in Colombia.
The administration will launch a policy review of its options in Afghanistan this coming December, and already statements (such as those made by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates) is that we should expect only some fine-tuning and tinkering with Afghan strategy, rather than a whole-scale revision. Moreover, franker talk from across the AtlanticGeneral David Petraeus's deputy in the International Security Assistance Force, UK Lt. Gen. Nick Parker, has said of the July 2011 deadline announced by the Obama administration, "It is entirely reasonable for there to be some draw down of some sort although I suggest it is not a significant as some people choose to make it out to be"suggests that the mission is set to continue well into a possible second term for the president. The British do not envision leaving before 2015and it is likely that U.S. involvement could continue past 2018. If Obama, however, decides to undertake a radical shift in the U.S. approach, then, given the ongoing difficulties he has had with the Hamid Karzai government, he will have to embrace the Najibullah option.
Gorbachev dumped the doctrinaire Communist Babrak Karmal in favor of Mohammad Najibullah, the head of the Afghan secret police (the KHAD). Najibullah began to dismantle many of the ideological features of the Communist state, tacitly accepting a much greater role for Islam, in an effort to head off the growth in support for the mujahideen. Most significantly, Gorbachev gave Najibullah the firepower and logistical support to consolidate his hold on power. Najibullah held on to his position after the departure of Soviet forces in early 1989, and might have lasted in power if, in the wake of the Soviet collapse of 1991, the supply chain from Moscow had not been terminated. There are, of course, some significant differences today. First and foremost, there is no clear "Najibullah" figure ready and waiting in the wings. Karzai, unlike Karmal, is unlikely to step aside quietlyand if U.S. pressure intensifies, might very well take up his threat to join up with the Taliban. Nor could a U.S. administration countenance the very brutal tactics utilized by Najibullah to take and hold on to powercertainly not with a current counterinsurgency strategy that emphasizes protecting the populace (rather than using brute force to overawe them).
So the Obama administration may not have an alternative exit strategy it desiresof being able to exit from Afghanistan, terminating direct U.S. involvement in the Afghan war, leaving behind a "friendly regime" and being able to show to the electorate in 2012 that there is "light at the end of the Afghan tunnel." And so it may be left with one of two politically unappealing choices: fully embrace an Afghan "surge" strategy that may need four years to fully play itself out-or decide to liquidate American involvement to end the hemorrhaging. Whether the president's national security and political teams can come to any consensus on this issue remains to be seen.
Rather have Gorbachev as president than this clown hell Boris Yeltsin would be a huge improvement.
author’s name is
Nikolas K. Gvosdev
more like a Barrystrophe
or an obamanation
Actually barrystroika refers to Obama's economic "reforms."
One oversaw the collapse of a world superpower. The other one is still working on it.
Yeltsin standing on a tank, compared with Obama standing on the bottom rung of a ladder.
You are not right. Gorby was a weak lib idealist busy to clean, as he seen, a brutal image of his nation using Perestroika (Rebuild or Change in Russian) with numerous concessions at home and abroad. Doing that he ruined a basis of a society same way Obama is doing to American values trying to be nice to everyone Worldwide.
Yeltsin as a governor of Russia - a state within a Soviet federation took advantage of a Gorby’s weak leadership to ruin a Union to become #1. He has declared independence, so did his collegues in other states leaving lib idiot Gorby rule a federation without states.
In fact Soviet dissolution was not a peaceful transition. Thousands has died, especially in Central Asia.
I see it differently. Gorby had a choice: civil war and the eventual dissolution to the current status, or a more or less peaceful transition to the current status. I believe he made the right decision and knowingly guided Russia to a more stable status. As for the thousands who died, that's comparatively good by Russian standards. The alternative of an all out war within the old USSR, would have been far worse, potentially comparable to the 3M to 9M who died in the 1917-1922 wars.
The difference with Obama is that he is destroying a mostly unified country, with his corruption and weakness triggering talk of civil war as a realistic option when that has not been a consideration in 140 years.
1989, Gorbachev told the Politburo: Gentlemen, comrades, do not be concerned about all you hear about glasnost and perestroika and democracy in the coming years. These are primarily for outward consumption. There will be no significant change within the Soviet Union, other than for cosmetic purposes. Our aim is to disarm the Americans and let them fall asleep.
Gorbachev is and was the same USSR dressed up in propaganda as you can see from his very quote. Obama is like Gorbachev because they support the same ideology.
‘I see it differently. Gorby had a choice: civil war and the eventual dissolution to the current status, or a more or less peaceful transition to the current status. I believe he made the right decision and knowingly guided Russia to a more stable status. As for the thousands who died, that’s comparatively good by Russian standards. The alternative of an all out war within the old USSR, would have been far worse, potentially comparable to the 3M to 9M who died in the 1917-1922 wars.
The difference with Obama is that he is destroying a mostly unified country, with his corruption and weakness triggering talk of civil war as a realistic option when that has not been a consideration in 140 years.’
Before a mid-80s Soviet Union was a unified country too. People of all races and religions were relatively good comrades for centuries (under Empire too) - longer than United States. They Russians was who came out with a multiculturalism.
It turned against them as soon as there appeared too many liberalism and an economical conditions has worsen same way it was during Detroit race riots. In 1988-1990 there were a number of ethnic conflicts killing lot of people - all effectively stopped by Soviet troops.
The only differences with the United States is unlike the Soviet Union which had all the ‘equality and divercity’ on the South and Western borders, America has the potential hot spot in every city.
Another good difference is an America has a working democracy. It means that is able to outvote or impeach it’s Gorby before there will be any Yeltsins to start Mexifornia or Michigan Emirate.
Hardy har, har! It turned out to be easier to replace Gorby and then Yeltsin (or just about any Commie gensec) than it is to dislodge the modern emperor of our archaic "democracy". The Klintoon "impeachment" wasn't enough of a proof.
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