Rich Galen

It has also come to light that the United States is now in serious discussions with the Taliban about the future of Afghanistan. As we have discussed here before, if the Taliban would promise not to allow Al Qaeda free access to Afghanistan to construct training bases for terrorists, we'd be out of there by Labor Day.

Gates said yesterday that he didn't think the Taliban would seriously negotiate unless they were convinced they couldn't win a military victory but reminded CNN's Candy Crowley that, "political outcome is the way most of the wars end. The question is when and if they are ready to talk seriously."

We are involved in two acknowledged wars, plus Libya where our involvement consists of unmanned but armed Predator aircraft, refueling NATO warplanes, and providing AWACS command and control operations but does not, according to Obama, rise to the level of a military engagement requiring Congressional approval.

I'm not certain why he thinks that is a good idea - either we should be helping NATO or we shouldn't. If we should, then this is a war-like activity - kinetic, I think the Administration called it. If we shouldn't then send the aircraft back to their home bases and put the savings toward that $14 trillion debt.

Libya, however you portray it, is a third war and last week we were told that the CIA was launching armed Predators against Al Qaeda forces in Yemen which, according to the Boston Globe, "reflects a decision by President Obama that the Al Qaeda threat in Yemen has grown so serious that patrols by US military drones are not enough."

That's four wars, by my count - and my count is only correct if you include attacks inside Pakistan as part of the Afghan campaign. Call it four-and-a-half wars.

How many of them fit Secretary Gates' definition of a "war of choice?"

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at