2/08/2009

The Action Afghans Need

Afghanistan is in crisis.

We need action that's swift, bold and wise enough for us to climb out of this crisis. No time for delay. In fact delay is inexcusable and irresponsible!

Ooops...sorry, those were the President's invectives about his bloated "stimulus" bill....

Unfortunately, the strategy for victory in Afghanistan is imbued with no such sense of urgency from the new Administration. And this is despite the fact that we are being told this is the toughest war in the last 50 years.
"President Obama's national security team gave a dire assessment Sunday of the war in Afghanistan..." [WaPo]
Of course this is no different than anything that has been said over the last year, but I guess it needs to be said if only to tag the last administration with guilt.

However it is the language that the Dems use that one can infer the "dire" nature of the task.
Holbrooke Says Afghan War ‘Tougher Than Iraq’
The war in Afghanistan will be “much tougher than Iraq,” President Obama’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan said at a security conference here on Sunday.
Interestingly, less than 2 years ago, Holbrooke also said this:
“Let me start by making a statement that I never thought I would make: the situation in Iraq today is worse than it ever was in Vietnam..."
So...through my special powers of analysis I can draw the conclusion that Afghanistan is worse than Iraq, which was worse than Vietnam...which would make it the worst situation in the last 50 years. (Grenada of course brings up a close fourth.)

And I am OK with that analysis. It is indeed a tough, intractable military problem beset by outside influences much like the other two. Of those two, one got better because we took action, and one got worse because we hog-tied ourselves.

This leads to the question, what will Obama do? Action or inaction? So far the signs are not encouraging:
Obama puts brake on Afghan surge
PRESIDENT Barack Obama has demanded that American defence chiefs review their strategy in Afghanistan before going ahead with a troop surge.

There is concern among senior Democrats that the military is preparing to send up to 30,000 extra troops without a coherent plan or exit strategy.

The Pentagon was set to announce the deployment of 17,000 extra soldiers and marines last week but Robert Gates, the defence secretary, postponed the decision after questions from Obama.
Great, we are back in the "Exit Strategy" era of foreign policy...

Thus I must ask... If the current economic situation is the worst in the last 50-60 years, and we must brook no delay in the passage of the "stimulus", then is it wise that we delay the DoD's planned solution for the worst military dilemma in the last half century? Should we not have the same sense of urgency?

Maybe it would go quicker if we included even more troops to teach the Afghans about STDs, establish the National Endowment for the Afghan Arts, handout digital-TV coupons, and provide hybrid vehicles for the Afghan government.

That might just do the trick....

3 comments:

The Brat said...

Going to be a looooooong four years I am thinking..:(

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