The Defense Department has built a heavy dependence on the 26,000 private security personnel operating in Afghanistan and the way out is difficult given that Obama made Afghanistan the core of his war on terror. There are reports that many in the US administration have known for sometime that “the US-led coalition is unlikely to defeat the Taliban militarily” and the concern today is how to deal with Pakistan which wants to be included in the “peace process” and wants a major role after the coalition troops leave.
When Obama was running for President, he distracted and placated the American people who ever since the early Cold War have been conditioned to live in fear of the outside world. The president assured the public that the “war on terror” is not over, merely shifting from Iraq to Afghanistan. Just before the elections of 2010, there is about to be another shift to take place from Afghanistan to Iran, a legitimate target because it is the most powerful Islamic country, Israel wants Iran hit as do some of the Arab countries, and nothing would deliver more votes to conservative Democrats and have the public rally around Obama than such a move.
In August 2010, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has stated that the military option remains on the table and there is a plan to attack Iran, although a military strike has been described as a bad idea. Against the background of a weak US and EU economic recovery from a very deep recession, against the ominous currency wars, the US has the option of cutting its losses from the Middle East and pressuring Tel Aviv for genuine peace instead of allowing more West Bank settlements.