President Barack Obama has stated that he has a low threshold for "success" in Afghanistan. He wants an Afghanistan that can no longer serve as a base for any terrorist group that would be able to attack the United States. Assuming that the President of the United States is true to his word, he should perhaps consider the possibility that the minimum objective for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan has already been achieved. If that is so, it is time for the United States to end its de facto occupation of the country and leave the Afghan people to settle on a form of government that will satisfy their needs, not those of a segment of the international community led by Washington. The fact is that the threat from terrorism has been greatly exaggerated for political reasons to create a sense of fear that has enabled Democrats and Republicans alike to aggrandize power in the federal government. The US State Department issues an annual report that identifies the "state sponsors" of terrorism, those countries that allegedly support and provide a safe haven for terrorist movements. The list has significance because inclusion on it automatically triggers sanctions and other punitive measures, but the report itself and the politics that drive it make its conclusions highly questionable. <snip> Does al-Qaeda threaten the United States? Well, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen seem to think so, but if they thought otherwise they would be out of a job. Perhaps the American public should begin to ask why hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent yearly to fight an enemy that might well be more imaginary that real. It is not unreasonable to suggest that it is time to put the genie back into the bottle and end the global war on terror once and for all. If President Obama really believes what he says, it is past time for him to accept that Afghanistan is a mess but unlikely to become a terrorist haven. Which means "mission accomplished" and it's time to leave. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D. is the Francis Walsingham Fellow at The American Conservative Defense Alliance (www.ACDAlliance.org) and a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer. Full Article How odd. A conservative think tank that actually practices conservatism and is loyal to the U.S. constitution.