Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Afghan Adventure, Part 2

Powerline's Mirengoff advances the discussion.

...On what I thought was Will's strongest point -- the futility of remaining --- Kristol and Krauthammer make basically the same argument.


In Afghanistan the idea is this: We have a bridge, a surge, which would [last] a year or two, during which you build up the Afghan army to perhaps a quarter of a million, which would be able, if it succeeds, to then, with little Western support, keep the capital, protect the capital, make deals with the warlords in the north, and contain the Pashtun insurgency in the south. That's all that we can hope.

Kristol is a reliable WarParty member--I cannot recall a time in which BillyBoy did not urge 'more troops, more occupation' in the last 10 years. I suppose it's possible that he objected to Clinton's adventure in the Balkans, but if he wanted to be consistent, he would have supported that idiocy, too.

Anyhoo, Mirengoff gets right to it.

Is there good reason to believe that the Afghan army will become an effective counter-insurgency force across large portions of Afghanistan in a year or two? The 250,000 number may well be attainable, but how many of them would be of a quality that would unable us to "un-surge" without dire consequences?

Not to mention 'who PAYS for that army...'

And what about the nation-building side of things? Is Gen. McChrystal correct in saying (as it is reported) that defeating the insurgents requires a government that has the confidence of the people, along with substantial economic progress? If so, don't we need to do more than just supply military capacity while the Afghan army grows?

I think someone ought to recognize that just because "Afghanistan" is on maps does not make it "a nation"--which must be a consideration in this discussion.

Damn good questions, too.


Billiam said...

It's not a Nation. It's a conglomeration of tribes, same as the Border area with Pakistan. I've come to the conclusion that we should no longer run off and be the Worlds Policeman, unless it's in our Vital National Interest. For me, that means bringing our troops home from Europe and the Far East, as well. Also to quit sending money to other countries except for Humanitarian things, although I firmly believe in support for Israel. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about withdrawing in a protectionist form, but consider this. The outer World has shown time and again, that they don't want us, even as they speak the words that they do. We've done enough for other countries, bailed their chestnuts out of the fire, rebuilt them, yet they despise us quietly. Fine. Let us give them their wish. Until we do this, nothing will change, and all these words will be just that. Words. Without meaning.

krshorewood said...

All of which could be brought up about eight years ago when we invaded a amalgam of tribes, but you belchers were loudly mute.

Dad29 said...


Don't you mean "assholes"?

Afgh'stan WAS directed at OBL, as you may recall. He's history and much of his network is, too.

Taliban doesn't mean much to me; never did. But OBL was very much of interest.

You DO know the difference, no?