Monday, August 31, 2009

The McChrystal Report and the Larger Question

The report is out, accessible here.

The Captain's Journal has a number of questions, too, beginning with McC's apparent "0/1" argument that 'killing the enemy' is not related to 'protecting the population.' Captain (and I) believe that it's both. Frankly, I have a hard time reconciling McC's position with common sense. In the end, it's likely that McC will ask for a LOT more US troops in Afghanistan.

There's plenty more hard-headed criticism which should be absorbed.

But there is The Larger Question, also raised (with inflammatory language) by Mel Laird: is Afghanistan worth it?

A lot of people don't think so, and I'm inclined to agree with them, unless one can find "Global CopShop" somewhere in the Department of Defense's charter. Clinton's forays into the Balkans and other places, and Bush's yappaflappa about "building democracy" do not hold as arguments for deploying troops to Lower Noplace.

We note that "the Taliban" is not directly an enemy of the US, for openers--and even worse, Afghanistan is barely on the edge of being a 'state' in the conventional sense. The Afghan army is not much more organized or disciplined than a gaggle of grade-school boys playing Army in the alley.

The Tali is very effective at guerilla warfare, and (last I heard) it takes about 7 regulars to defeat (or contain) 1 guerilla. That's fairly high stakes in an area where logistics are damn near impossible.....

Who are we trying to kid here?


Anonymous said...

You and Obey have a few things in common:

Dad29 said...

That would be ONE thing in common.