12/06/2009

Consequences of Delaying the Afghan Decision

Over at Bouhammer's Afghan Blog, an Afghan vet lays out why President Obama's delay in making a decision on an Afghan surge will make things a lot more complicated.
Dear Mr. President:
Posted By The Dude on December 6, 2009

Now that I’ve had a few days to ingest, digest, and perform my own mission analysis on your new plan for Afghanistan, I’m a bit concerned. My concerns are based from my experiences of being on one end of the spectrum at the tip of of the spear defending freedom in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border regions, to the opposite end of that spectrum in Kuwait serving in the logistical nerve center for both Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
Some points to consider....

- Winter is coming has already arrived in Afghanistan. Had this decision been made during the summer, any surge of forces to the north and the east of the country could have beaten the winter conditions. Now it will be more difficult.

- With the upcoming drawdown in Iraq, logistics hubs and transport will be very busy in 2010. Add ina surge to Afghanistan, and you get a logistics nightmare. Had this decision been made during the summer, then some of the surge movement could have preceded the Iraq drawdown, and thus avoided future scheduling conflicts. I feel for my Army logistician and Air Force airlift brethren over the coming year...

Perhaps this should not come as any surprise, especially concerning the office of the President of the United States, but decisions (or lack thereof) have consequences. And even seemingly trivial decisions can have cascading effects. However when it comes to military matters in times of war, there are no trivial decisions, and the cascading effects can have serious consequences.

It can only be in Washington where 'a decision delayed is a decision made'. I don't think they teach that up at West Point, Mr. President.