Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…

From: Obama’s program of war

Gates told the senators: “There is little doubt that our greatest military challenge right now is Afghanistan. As you know, the United States has focused more on Central Asia in recent months. President Obama has made it clear that the Afghanistan theatre should be our top overseas military priority.”

The war in Afghanistan, he added, would be “long and difficult.” The short-term time frame he placed on the conflict was “five years”—at least until 2014. He said an increase in US casualties was “likely” as operations are stepped-up against the anti-occupation insurgency being waged by loyalists of the former Taliban regime and other Afghan Islamist movements.

Gates stressed that as the new administration escalates military action in Central Asia, it has no intention of withdrawing from Iraq. Warning that resistance could erupt again against US forces in Iraq, he said “there may be hard days ahead for our troops.” Even if units designated as “combat” are pulled out roughly according to the 16-month schedule promised by Obama during the election, Gates emphasized that a sizeable force would remain and “we should still expect to be involved in Iraq on some level for many years to come.”

And from what they’re saying, the situation they have created in Afghanistan should be cleaned up by others, while they go kill more people. Because bombing a country where most people don’t even have access to water is the true path to democracy. Oh, and of course killing people in Pakistan is the way to peace.