Friendly Dictators

It's good to see that the US is planning ahead by courting Uzbekistan. But they should never have pissed off Uzbekistan in the first place. We do not have the luxury of being able to piss off friendly dictators. We've never had that luxury. We still haven't defeated our actual enemy governments. With Pakistan cutting off our supply routes into Afghanistan, we need to be thankful that the Uzbek dictator is willing to forgive the Americans for past criticism. And hopefully that will include the regular yearly criticism from the State Department when it does its sweep of all countries in the world honestly pointing out their flaws (ie produce a list of things that would be compulsory fixed if the US had a magic wand, which it doesn't). The US should have just left its quiet yearly criticism in, and left it at that. It should never ever have poked the Uzbek dictator in the eye.

Of course there's another route into Afghanistan - via Iran. I would take a dual strategy of being nice to the Uzbek dictator as well as liberating Iran and seeing if that opens up new options.

Syria is hanging on a thread too. With the Russians able to cut their supply route, and having to rely on the Uzbeks, we're between a rock and a hard place. Basically we're forced to say "no" to Syrian freedom fighters, or forced to pull out of Afghanistan. We need some more liberations to give more options. Even invading Pakistan is an option. We need to collect their nukes, after all. And also do something about those tribal territories, such as give them to Afghanistan and bring them under control.

Well that's a tough calculation to do. There is evidence that the US government is competently working the problem. Also evidence that it is being incompetent - poking friendly dictators in the eye. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. It's difficult to predict how they're going to sort out this mess. Difficult to give advice too. There doesn't seem to be a good solution. Just some bad options to choose between.

I'd say that you can't go wrong by liberating Iran - so get that out of the way first. It's way overdue anyway. And be prepared to abandon Afghanistan - the important work there has already been done. Afghanistan has an undefeatable military already - and it is loyal to Afghan's constitution rather than some dictator. I would like to see how Afghanistan copes on its own anyway. It would provide a missing military data point I'd like to have for my calculations.

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