Sunday, May 23, 2010

I hate to be a pessimist about Afghanistan, but…

I assume our military and state department leaders are familiar with the strategy, tactics, and Islamic ideology of the folks behind our “overseas contingency operation.”  But of course that would make me an ass. 

Would I be surprised if our strategy and tactics worked?  Let me put it this way.  I would be less surprised seeing a cow and an elephant having intercourse in my suburban back yard.

Related story:  US troops on patrol in Afghanistan required to have unchambered weapons (not ready for firing).

Related story:  US troops ordered to help Afghans harvest poppy crops that fund Taliban.

Related story: U.S. commanders struggle to describe the campaign, reaching for phrases like "a series of activities," "thickening the battlespace," "restoring order," and "a rising tide of security."

Doling out millions to Muslim tribal leaders will have an effect for how long?  No tanks rolling into the City?  Sounds nice and kum bey Yah-ish.  But how will the folks there interpret our "kinder and gentler” side?  I really doubt they will give a damn.  In fact it will feed their resolve and confidence to perpetuate their current course.

This operation sounds more and more like Obama’s Afghan bail-out plan – his continuing “millions for Muslims” campaign disguised as a “war” that he is against.

From the Washington Post…

Officials have described the offensive's blend of civilian and military operations as the first true test of the counterinsurgency doctrine adopted five years ago on the eve of the 2007 surge in Iraq, but since only imperfectly applied. As troops battle insurgent forces entrenched among the population on the outskirts of the city, the birthplace of the Taliban movement, U.S.-mentored Afghan police will establish a presence in the relatively secure center.

There will be no "tanks rolling into the city," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said May 13, adding that care will be taken so that the effort "doesn't destroy Kandahar in the effort to save Kandahar."

U.S. civilian officials are simultaneously trying to wrest control from local power brokers and to correct imbalances that favor one tribal group. They plan to set up 10 administrative districts, each with a representative council and money to spend.

Success has been only vaguely defined, and progress will be monitored through what the military calls "atmospherics reporting," including public opinion polls and levels of commerce in the streets. A senior military official said the central question, which the administration will pose and answer for itself, is: "Are we moving toward a solution in Kandahar that the people support?"

Skeptical of success?  You betcha.  What do I think ought to be done?  See “The great right-wing divide on Afghanistan” and “Why George Will is right and Gen. McChrystal isn’t.”  We ought  not be doing what we’re doing.  We continue denying what is behind the enemy we face: Islamic ideology with morality, ethics, goals, and aspirations 180 degrees different from our own.  We are trying to sell refrigerators to Eskimos.  We have Islamic Jihad occurring in our own country that we don’t admit to.  We need to admit, understand and adjust to the enemy we face.  In the meantime we are wasting our resources.  Get us out of there!

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