By sending over 21,000 additional American troops, President Obama is telling the world he's in it to win it: He is aiming to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
It will not be easy.
That's because the USA and NATO are up against Pakistan as well, as that chaotic country is harboring terrorists and even supplying them in some cases.
Right now there are 70,000 NATO forces inside Afghanistan — more than half American. And some of our allies simply will not fight the bad guys, so the theatre is not secure.
Also, the Afghan people tell pollsters they hate the Taliban, but the folks have not really risen up against the terrorists. If they want to defeat the extremists, the Afghans must fight hard.
But Pakistan remains the big dog guarding the terror-gate. "The Factor" has been pounding that point ever since we visited Afghanistan in 2007 and I brought it up to Hillary Clinton last year:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Let's go to Afghanistan; I was there in November. And I am going to give you a quiz question — don't answer it if you don't want to. It's not fair really, but I am going to do it because I think it's interesting.
Do you know where the primary haven is for the Taliban right now?
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HILLARY CLINTON: It's in Pakistan.
CLINTON: Well, it's along the border and there are a couple of different places — it's not just one place. You know, I…
O'REILLY: But there's a command and control, do you know where it is?
CLINTON: Where do you say it is?
O'REILLY: It's in Quetta.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Just last week, The New York Times ran a big article about the Taliban leadership in Quetta, so you can see that for years little has been done about the sanctuary.
General David Petraeus — the guy who saved Iraq — is now in charge of strategy, so that's good. But Hamid Karzai is in charge of Afghanistan and that's bad. His administration is weak and corrupt; it actually hurts the war effort, rather than helps it.
Talking Points does not know whether NATO can defeat the terrorists, but does know that will not happen unless the Afghan strongmen stop selling dope and start killing terrorists.
This narco-state is draining billions from the U.S. Treasury and American forces are falling on its soil.
I support President Obama's effort, but he needs to get very tough — very tough — and demand performance from the Afghans and the Pakistani government. If they don't start helping us, well, more drastic measures may have to be taken.
President Obama should be getting them ready.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
As you may know, "The Factor" donates money to the Wounded Warrior Project. It has for years and now a major corporation is helping out as well.
The CEO of Macy's, Terry Lundgren, is sponsoring the New York State Soldier Ride — a bicycle race that raises money to help injured troops in the rehabilitation process.
So Mr. Lundgren is a patriot and we are going to buy a lot of stuff at Macy's.
On the pinhead front, I feel sorry for this young woman Rihanna. As you may remember she was beaten up by her boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, who has been charged.
Now Rihanna has unveiled a new tattoo featuring a pistol — it made the front page of The New York Post on Friday.
I don't know what's going through the singer's mind, but this is a pinhead move.