Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Uganda Mission: FAIL

Optimistic Conservative (a very difficult position to maintain, by the way) agrees with us.

The most fundamental [objection], in my view, is that there is no real operational mission for the US advisers, advisers and trainers. The State Department policy statement on the deployment is as non-specific as it’s possible to be while still using English nouns and adjectives. But it’s not just the vagueness of the mission; it’s the fact that, based on a military analysis of the situation, there isn’t one.

US "advisers" were also in Viet Nam in the late 1950's, remember?

By the way, that canard about "Congressional authorization" is crap.  Feingold--who voted for the bill in question--specifically denied that it authorized military involvement.


Anonymous said...

Well done, Dad29, in your apparent effort to put me in my place. Must have felt REAL manly!

Read the piece. Indeed, he is a THOUGHTFUL conservative for a reason. Perhaps you could learn from him about how to write cogent points.

"But it’s not just the vagueness of the mission; it’s the fact that, based on a military analysis of the situation, there isn’t one."

Not quite.


Anonymous said...

Ooops---Signed, Zorro!

Grim said...

FWIW, a 100-person team led by USSF has the potential to be extremely effective, but by itself is not a commitment to the conflict. You have to remember that they can call fires from AFRICOM and offshore Naval forces if they need to do so; so those 100 guys are significant, even apart from the FID ("Foreign Internal Defense") training that is one of the core missions of USSF.

On the other hand, it's 100 guys who are used to traveling light and fast, and they can be gone tomorrow if you change your mind. It's not like you're plunking down a brigade or a division, which is a serious investment.

You probably are not aware that we had an even larger commitment in Pakistan until lately -- post bin Laden, the ODR-P mission was greatly reduced. It did us no harm, and indeed great good while it lasted.

Anonymous said...

Grim--It would seem you are at odds with Dad29's position.

Yes, I was aware. Pakistan had to save face publicly by insisting that the U.S. does not infringe upon their sovereignty, yet privately they were assisting the our forces in whatever way possible.

Dad29 said...

Grim, US 'advisers'--not many, and also light-packers--were in Viet Nam for 3-4 years, too.

I know this is not a combat force; that's not the point.

The objection is to the Administration's penchant for finding nasty patches in which to insert US troops.

Obama's certainly not the first, won't be the last. But it must come to an end.

Grim said...

Anon -- I was actually talking to D29; I don't know you well enough to guess what you might know or not know.

D29 -- The thing is that we engage in this particular activity far more than is commonly realized. You can point to Vietnam as an example of how this was the 'camel's nose' to a larger commitment; for that matter, you could point to Afghanistan as a similar case. Against that on the scale, though, there are at least dozens of cases in which it wasn't anything of this sort. This particular sort of deployment is what USSF is for; it's the best way for us to influence and manage a low-level conflict without risking national commitment.

I can understand the resistance to 'forever war,' and to a certain isolationism -- I shared that sentiment myself before 9/11. However, I honestly believe we must find a way to engage and manage even the nasty patches of the world. The U.S. may not be able to afford another Iraq in the near future, with dozens of brigades and several divisions committed at once. Our Special Forces, though each man is in a real sense a treasure, is a way in which we can manage these conflicts so as to avoid another al Qaeda coming out of them, while also avoiding a national commitment of major blood and treasure.

Dad29 said...

Grim, here's something to consider: http://claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1878/article_detail.asp

Not precisely on-point, but a persuasive 'keep the powder dry' essay.