This is among so many indications the world is preparing for a “post-American” future, in which, as Obama himself promised at the United Nations, his country would no longer be a superpower. Everything else he is doing, at home and abroad, seems designed to contribute to the same result: the political and economic diminution of the United States.

It is against this background that the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan becomes, in effect, the test of remaining U.S. commitment to anything under the current administration…

Perhaps the message may eventually get through to Barack Obama himself, that he is beginning to look like “Jimmy Carter, squared.” Something in the nature of a decisive stroke in foreign policy might even be to his political advantage. He could only derive political benefit from an act that would permanently shear off his radical leftwing support. (Yes, I am being cynical here, but I am writing about very cynical calculations.)

The west cannot afford defeat in Afghanistan. The only way forward is through the enemy, and the more decisive the thrust, the more such unreliable regional allies as Pakistan will cooperate.