Sunday, June 12, 2011

America can no longer afford the blood and treasure required to fight pointless wars in perpetuity

 The jockeying for position on troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Iraq continues. Recently, departing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the U.S. military have tried to box the Obama administration into leaving as many troops in Afghanistan as possible. Gates argued that a rapid withdrawal would threaten the gains accrued from the surge of 30,000 troops. Gates opined, “I would try to maximize my combat capability as long as this process goes on—I think that’s a no-brainer.” He has argued for a modest withdrawal, which other sources have pegged at between 3,000 and 5,000 troops; in other words, only a token pullout to fulfill President Obama’s pledge to begin withdrawing troops this summer.
Pushing back are Vice President Joe Biden and the White House staff, including National Security Adviser Tom Donilon. Biden and Donilon were initially skeptical of the troop surge and are pushing for a more rapid withdrawal. Biden backs a speedier pullout but wants to keep a smaller force to perform counterterrorism missions and train the Afghan military.
 It is true that U.S. “gains” from the surge in Helmand and Kandahar provinces in southern Afghanistan are likely to be ephemeral unless American forces remain. In guerrilla wars, the foreign occupier’s superior technology and firepower can usually clear areas of less well-equipped insurgents. The problem is holding the territory after the foreign occupier’s forces have moved on. That would normally be done by Afghan forces, which are expanding but have 30 percent desertion per year, have only a 10 percent literacy rate among recruits, and are thoroughly corrupt (like the rest of the U.S.-backed client Afghan government). Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, in charge of training Afghan troops, however, prefers to look on the bright side; he argues that Afghan forces are improving because they must now be certified to be competent in using their weapons before joining the force, which wasn’t a requirement before. Surely, American troops that have to go into battle with these ragtag Afghans are ecstatic about this development.
More important, the Taliban has just moved to other parts of Afghanistan and is now attacking in the east, north, and west of Afghanistan. Since the U.S. has too few troops to conduct a counterinsurgency strategy in all parts of the country and the Afghan forces are too incompetent to fill the gaps, the wishful gains that the U.S. military sees in Afghanistan are largely illusory, as yet another prime fighting season begins. In the early 1980s, the U.S. encouraged a similar nationwide counterinsurgency strategy by the Salvadoran military, which also had too few troops to police the entire nation. The strategy failed because the insurgents just moved to areas that had fewer government troops. Baseball great Yogi Berra would say that Afghanistan is “déjà vu all over again.”
Read entire article here.


  1. I agree. I think the problem is that too many people are ignorant and fail to see the truth.

  2. I agee with you but what happens in the future when the Medievalists return to cause havoc and allow the dark side back to expand their terroristic crap on the world.. These bampots if allowed safe haven will in the long run develop methods of extreme weaponry and where do you think they will strike?, the West of course. This Jihad that they rant about has an extremely long memory. They will not forget us in a hurry.
    And as for handing the Afghans back full control of their country. This would be a total disaster. It would regress back to the middle ages again with the Warlords taking total control. Whats the best way out?, I don't know, but I do know emphatically that if we had not chased the Taliban and their resident Terrorist friends out we would have been in big trouble today.

  3. Interesting and thought provoking post

  4. it is ridiculous indeed but nothing can do unless we were to gather as a nation and revolt .-.

  5. i agree! we need to withdraw all troops from everywhere and worry about america and the problems we have and not the problems of others

  6. it is sad but it is not our place to dictate what should and should not occur in other parts of the world
    if they "feel" they are unable to change their predicament then what good does policing for them do? it's like giving bread to a starving man...he is going to need a stead supply of that bread.
    teaching and training is a much better tool
    but in the case of the middle east....nothing seems to help at all
    if 2000+ years is not enough time for change I don't think a few years is going to make any sort of mark

  7. You have to remember Jon, that the Middle East wasn't always the ****hole it is today. It was, after all, the centre of science, culture and civilization for quite a long time.

    Change can happen, but one need to get the people to want change as well. Something that I can't see happening any time soon...

  8. The New York Times calls fir the EU to be more militaristic. To step up bombing in Libya. And to keep it's combat troops in Afghanistan. Who the fuck is running the NYT editorial page? George W. Bush?