21 Sep

To Win Or Lose In Afghanistan…Obama’s Moment Of Truth

                                       

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….

Sigh…

“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.

About Curt

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 20 years.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Military, War On Terror. Bookmark the permalink. Monday, September 21st, 2009 at 9:00 am
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14 Responses to To Win Or Lose In Afghanistan…Obama’s Moment Of Truth

  1. jainphx says: 1

    I predict he will vacillate for a while and then cut and run. History shows us that Demoncraps will always cut and run, it’s in their DNA, much more it’s Odumbo’s style.

    ReplyReply
  2. Blast says: 2

    This will be a test for President Obama… and for our country as a whole. I am interested in hearing the debate on the strategies, however the issues in Afghanistan which are difficult at best, and can get much worse. The country is significantly larger than Iraq, with difficult terrain and a mosaic of tribal constituencies. The opium trade and lack of their own sources of money compounds the issue.

    It does make sense not to make more enemies in the ranks of the population in Afghanistan, how to press the issue to a conclusion with a dysfunctional central government in Kabul and the present “support” from our allies, I don’t know.

    ReplyReply
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  5. Skye says: 3

    Obama made a point to not make any decision until the ‘right plan’ comes along. It is his way of avoiding the issue and pacifying the left base of the Dem Party.

    ReplyReply
  6. Patvann says: 4

    @Skye

    Telling (but not to you nor I) that he now says he; “should wait until the right plan comes along”, yet refuses to TELL the generals and the other Progs to do what he said during the election. A position the Progs (at the time) claimed to be “better” than Bush’s, and a position he has the power to now enforce….Last I heard, he was ready to invade Pakistan. (“Pokistaahn”)

    Effing pathetic.

    He WILL cut and run, while laying blame on any the following or a combination thereof:

    1. “I must do what the Senate and the People want”. (Pelosi has telegraphed this already)
    2. “Had the previous admin done a better job…” (The old standby)
    3. I have a better plan” (Which will be counter to all military/historical advise)

    Meanwhile, my 19 year-old son, and thousands like him, have volunteered to die for the freedom of any and all peace-loving Afghani’s. THEIR view of what is right and wrong will be completly discounted by this admin.

    ReplyReply
  7. URI says: 5

    Poor American soldiers who have to endure such a horrible leadership from their President. I wish we could drop Obama in Afghanistan and bring all our troops back…that would be a perfect exchange.

    ReplyReply
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  9. Excellent post and comments all.

    Patvann, I’m sure he will say those things. In addition, though, he’ll say it’s “for the children,” that the money needs to go to a badly needed school lunch program.

    From 2003 on the entire left told us that Iraq was a mistake but boy oh boy, they really wanted to fight in Afghanistan! Yes siree, they assured us, Afghanistan was where the real fight was.

    I didn’t believe them at the time and said so. Much as I’d like to be proven wrong I think it’ll be otherwise.

    ReplyReply
  10. Patvann says: 7

    @Tom TRH

    The one thing I wish the left would figure out about us conservatives, is that most of the time, we wish we were wrong. Some days we pray for it…

    ReplyReply
  11. Buffalobob says: 8

    I see a Viet Nam ll. The Kerrys, the Pelosies, the Rieds, the Murthas, Obama, the liberal, progressive or what ever the hell they call themselves democrats will do exactly what they have done in the past. Hell we find out that their beloved Ted Kennedy was making deals with the Kremlin to undermine Reagan, and the libs loved him for it. The damndest thing is that our brave troops will be the ones once again to suffer the fools in our congress. These pompous asses that call themselves US congressman and US senators will make speeches and charm the nitwits that vote for them.

    ReplyReply
  12. Carl says: 9

    Of COURSE they’re only words with no substance…that’s all Obama knows.

    ReplyReply
  13. Missy says: 10

    Another area where the manchild makes me “afraid for my country!” No confidence in whatever is behind the curtain, none at all. We have too many lives hanging in the balance while he attempts to make up his mind whether to yield to politics or generals.

    ReplyReply
  14. MataHarley says: 11

    Me thinks the problem with the public perception of Afghanistan is the inclination to impose the Iraq template. Is is simply a different problem, which Blast rightly points out.

    In Iraq, we needed to get the place secure enough for the fledglingly government to get a grip on self rule, and the method of distribution of natural resources that provided cash for the central government. This isn’t going to happen in Afghanistan since there is no infrastructure, cash etc. Afghanistan hasn’t the plethora of resources that Iraq has… meaning nothing that is developed (like Iraq’s oil fields). But it does have some future developable potential in small arenas. The place could also be an area farming belt (at least for themselves)… tho the Afghans have long since lost generations of farming knowledge (save for poppies used for heroin production).

    There are capitalist ventures willing to go into Afghanistan… but not sans security. So I would think that in Afghanistan, it has to be a security issue first and foremost… combined with an international development potential issue. Having business come in to offer locals income and simple benefits like schools, hospitals, roads, electricity, etc is a “hearts/minds” winner. Without such “federal” benefits, what use have the tribes for a central government? They offer them nothing.

    NATO? Worthless…

    Will Obama listen? I’m betting not. He’s sitting around, counting his diminishing capital…. wondering what does he want more. Health care and cap/trade? Or Afghanistan? When he gets his butt off the fence, he will choose the former, and abandon the latter. He knows he can not afford both. It will set us back diplomatically in the region again, as it did when they were abandoned during the Soviet war. Obama’s America will prove they are not an ally on which anyone can count on with the going gets tough.

    Ya know, I hated the GOP Congressional spending during the Bush years, and his lack of a veto pen. But I sure miss the genuine swagger and dogged determination to see a plan thru… despite polls.

    ReplyReply

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