Remember all that talk from Obama that Afghanistan was the war that needed to be won. The fight against the Taliban and Osama was the one that needed to be reinforced.
Well, now it’s time to see if these tough words were only words:
The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warns in an urgent, confidential assessment of the war that he needs more forces within the next year and bluntly states that without them, the eight-year conflict “will likely result in failure,” according to a copy of the 66-page document obtained by The Washington Post.
Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal says emphatically: “Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) — while Afghan security capacity matures — risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.”
His assessment was sent to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Aug. 30 and is now being reviewed by President Obama and his national security team.
McChrystal concludes the document’s five-page Commander’s Summary on a note of muted optimism: “While the situation is serious, success is still achievable.”
But he repeatedly warns that without more forces and the rapid implementation of a genuine counterinsurgency strategy, defeat is likely. McChrystal describes an Afghan government riddled with corruption and an international force undermined by tactics that alienate civilians.
He provides extensive new details about the Taliban insurgency, which he calls a muscular and sophisticated enemy that uses modern propaganda and systematically reaches into Afghanistan’s prisons to recruit members and even plan operations.
McChrystal recommends fixing the huge corruption problem inside the Afghan government and, big shocker here, not to focus on killing the enemy. Rather we should focus on not hurting civilians. Now thats the way to win a war eh? Who cares about actually taking the fight to the enemy in war….
“Further, a perception that our resolve is uncertain makes Afghans reluctant to align with us against the insurgents.”
McChrystal is equally critical of the command he has led since June 15. The key weakness of ISAF, he says, is that it is not aggressively defending the Afghan population. “Pre-occupied with protection of our own forces, we have operated in a manner that distances us — physically and psychologically — from the people we seek to protect. . . . The insurgents cannot defeat us militarily; but we can defeat ourselves.”
McChrystal continues: “Afghan social, political, economic, and cultural affairs are complex and poorly understood. ISAF does not sufficiently appreciate the dynamics in local communities, nor how the insurgency, corruption, incompetent officials, power-brokers, and criminality all combine to affect the Afghan population.”
Coalition intelligence-gathering has focused on how to attack insurgents, hindering “ISAF’s comprehension of the critical aspects of Afghan society.”
Focused on attacking insurgents? Omg….what were they thinking? This is a war, they shouldn’t be focused on winning, they should be focused on how to be buddy buddy with the locals.
He also says that coalition forces will change their operational culture, in part by spending “as little time as possible in armored vehicles or behind the walls of forward operating bases.” Strengthening Afghans’ sense of security will require troops to take greater risks, but the coalition “cannot succeed if it is unwilling to share risk, at least equally, with the people.”
McChrystal warns that in the short run, it “is realistic to expect that Afghan and coalition casualties will increase.”
And then we will see how the tide turns. Obama said he would take the fight to Afghanistan during the election, but as he has proven over and over and over again since, these were only words. He has flip-flopped on virtually every promise. This one will be no different. His lefty baggage handlers want him out of Afghanistan….once the casualties go up up and up that will be his cue. He will do what the Democrat Congress did to Vietnam.
The last part of the article from Woodward lays out the three main enemy groups in Afghanistan which is quite interesting so read it all.
Overall what the report seems to say is that we need more troops in theater. We need to become more like Mister Rogers.
Becoming more like Mister Rogers isn’t all bad. We did a good job of that in Iraq but the overall objective of finding, capturing, and killing the enemy never wavered…it is now. And I’m taking bets on how long it will take Obama to cut and run.