Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No New Troops for Afghanistan

Well, that's what it sounds like anyways. It sounds like the rumor on the street right now is that Obama has made up his mind up on Afghanistan. And if the rumor be true, the decision is not a number; it's a new strategy. The rumor is not confirm-able (at this point) and normally would be ignored, except for..........

There was a very good op-ed piece in today's WSJ.

Afghanistan Doesn't Need More Troops

In 2007-2008, 250 paratroopers secured a Pashtun province of one million by working closely with the tribes.

My post yesterday made the argument that Mcchrystal's strategy is not necessarily the only strategy that might work. When I woke up this morning and read the Cmdr Adam's piece I thought to myself, "well, OK! There you go; A logical argument with some evidence for an alternative strategy". My second thought was, "OK Mr President. Tell this guy to 'name that tune'. Fire Mcchrystal, hire Cmdr Adams, and let him have a go at it. Heck, your hero Abe Lincoln hired, fired, and rehired generals. If you believe this works, then go for it!".

Later in the day, when I began to hear rumors of a decision by Obama in regards to Afghanistan, I had a 'things that make you go hmmmmm" moment. I think we are about to hear the announcement of a non-troop-intensive, warm and fuzzy, let's just give them hugs strategy.

I guess that's fine, or at least it's better than the indecision that I complained about yesterday. However, it does nothing to convince me that we are not moving closer and closer to to reproducing the mistakes of Vietnam. There is no evidence in the annals of history that the "Hearts and Minds" strategy for winning a war works

I won't argue anything that Cmdr Adams says. I do not doubt that the strategy executed in his sector did avoid conflicts and save lives. I am just not convinced it works as an end to war in the theater.

Oh, and if you have any question? Hurry up and send them to the Cmdr. He's about to take command of the nuclear powere submarine, USS Sante Fe. If he misses your email, he might be able to answer your question next time he surfaces in 2013.

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