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I would describe the key challenge for Mr. Obama as reshaping American exceptionalism. This was the core contradiction of the last administration, which appealed to its voters with the claim to pursue an exceptional role as an emancipator among the nations, while at the same time turning to its allies with the denial of any readiness to pursue such a role, e.g. by asking them to send troops as well, even though those allies might not even have all-volunteer armies in their respective countries. If Mr. Obama manages to pursue a consistent form of American exceptionalism then he will also find opportunities to strenghten it with European approval.

G.I.N.O., until he takes the first step and is castigated for unilateral cowboyism. At that time he will go to the UN and NATO and say, OK, if you think that I'm not being constrained by your counsel then I'll make you equal partners, now pony up some troops. And while we're at it, how 'bout putting them in harm's way along with my troops.

Mike, he would be well advised not do do so, because the effect of such a call will have in these partner countries is that it will turn some of the most corrupt people into friends of America, who will then take the place of all sincere friends of America in the respective partner country.

This is the same for Pakistan and Germany, with a gradual difference in the level of corruption, but the replacement effect is the same.

On the other hand, one of our rotten populists picking a media fight with Hillary Clinton might be funny to watch for all of us.

Europe is financially busted. They aren't sending troops anywhere. They'll use 'lack of viable political strategy' as an excuse.

I'm starting to hear rumors that the Obama admin. may cut Karzai loose as he is unable to control the warlords.

That does give credence to the 'political strategy' whine. The tribal issues in Afghanistan have never lent themselves to any kind of resolution.

(nice to see mediankritik back - missed you!)

Pamela, IATA agrees to that, they even see a similiar tendency in the U. S.

As to the Karzai government, there is not much wiggle room left within its core competency contradiction between pretending a Chinese drug policy and pretending Western liberty.

Now it turns out that Germany is not just a spectator but a listener as well:

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Nighttime and early morning flights at Ramstein and Spangdahlem air bases in Germany will noticeably increase over the next seven months as the military ferries additional troops and equipment to Afghanistan, U.S. Air Force officials said Friday.

The bases’ airfields are typically less busy at night, with quiet hours enforced except for emergency or mission-essential flights. But starting next week and continuing until August, more large aircraft will be taking off and landing seven days a week, including during the base’s normal ‘quiet hours’ between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Flights usually are limited on Sundays and German holidays.

The aircraft missions are tied to the 30,000-U.S. troop buildup in Afghanistan announced by President Barack Obama in December, Air Force officials said. About half the additional airlift missions will go through Ramstein and Spangdahlem, said Aaron Schoenfeld, an 86th Airlift Wing spokesman at Ramstein.

On average, Ramstein will see an additional eight flights per night, and Spangdahlem four, Schoenfeld said.

Have you forgotten that the mental health of the neighbourhood of the hospital is a decisive factor in a conflict against an enemy which exploits every and any insanity it can find on this side?

It seems odd that it might not have been noticed by allied observers that the political debate in this country over the public mental health risks of scheduled nightflights all comes down to integrity. Hence an increase in military nightflights might enable those politicans who treat the issue of civilian nightflights like a belief they can change in to actually get away with their culture of treachery. Sensitivity at this point can be learned e.g. from one´s own experience with treacherous governors.

Is it possible to route those transports without depriving civilian neighbourhoods of their necessary sleep? There should be enough desert between Germany and Afghanistan for that.

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