Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Were the War Councils Worth It?

Juan Cole, President of the Global Americana Institute, has a compelling take on Obama's Afghanistan plans, "Obama's surge: Has the president been misled by the Iraq analogy?"

An excerpt:

Standing up an Afghanistan security force is a key element of Obama’s plan, as it was a central strategy in Iraq for the Bush administration and its allies. Doing so in Afghanistan, however, is a far more daunting task than in Iraq. Only 44 of the 127 units of the Afghanistan National Army surveyed for the U.S. Congress this fall were found capable of operating independently. That is, although there are on paper 95,000 troops in Afghanistan’s army, only about 33,000 can strike out on their own. U.S. military doctrine prior to the advent of smart munitions was that a 3-to-1 manpower advantage was sufficient for an attack. If there are 15,000 committed Taliban and other insurgent fighters, who have the advantage of fighting on their home terrain, then government forces could at the moment simply not marshal enough capable forces to defeat them, which helps explain the country’s downward security spiral. There is reason to believe, moreover, that the Afghan National Army troops are considerably less effective than their rating suggests. In the year ending September, one in four had quit or deserted. Only 10 percent of troops are literate. (In contrast, 74 percent of Iraqis can read and write.) One in every six Afghan soldiers is alleged to be a drug addict.

I suggest you read the rest.

With all of his war council meetings, I always wondered if Obama ever asked himself; who were the people partaking in his war councils, giving him advice and leaning him in this direction. From the table pictures I have seen Biden (although he has admitted mistakes) Hillary, Gates, Rahm, Pentagon officials and himself most were adamantly for war in Afghanistan before they sat and haven't really changed their minds since.

Seemed like a stacked deck from the get go.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message

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