2009 September 20 Sunday
McChrystal Wants Big Afghanistan Troop Ramp-Up

Obama's War:

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, is privately requesting between 30,000 and 40,000 more troops, a request that has produced "sticker shock" and "huge resistance" among key lawmakers, sources told FOX News.

Picture this: We leave Afghanistan. The Taliban sweep to power. We go in once again with special forces, air power, and bribery of tribal leaders and sweep the Taliban back out of power.

Or picture this: We leave Afghanistan. But we bribe lots of tribal leaders to keep the Taliban out of power.

Can one of those approaches work?

Our interest: Deny Al Qaeda a big training center. Can't we do this without a big troop presence in Afghanistan?

Update: One can judge an idea at least partly by who is for it. With that thought in mind Thomas Friedman of the New York Times supports a big push in Afghanistan and he thinks we can create "a reasonably noncorrupt Afghan state". Tom, you are funny guy.

The strategy that our new and impressive commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, is pursuing calls for additional troops to create something that does not now exist there a reasonably noncorrupt Afghan state that will serve its people and partner with America in keeping Afghanistan free of drug lords, warlords, the Taliban and Al Qaeda. His plan calls for clearing areas of Taliban control, holding those areas and then building effective local, district and provincial governments along with a bigger army, real courts, police and public services. Because only with all that can we hold the support of the Afghan people and avoid a Taliban victory and a return of Al Qaeda that could threaten us. That is the theory.

It is worth noting where Friedman stands on other US adventures in foreign lands. Friedman still thinks the invasion of Iraq was a good idea.

It is important to learn from one's mistakes.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 September 20 03:06 PM  MidEast Afghanistan

gcochran said at September 20, 2009 4:00 PM:

If we want to deny a key training center, we'll have to bomb Hamburg. At least we know how to do that.

Eric Johnson said at September 20, 2009 6:17 PM:

Thomas Friedman is *%^%$& irritating and effete beyond belief. God, you just want to flying-tackle him.

John Derbyshire said at September 20, 2009 6:18 PM:

No, no: start with High Wycombe: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2636488.ece

Big Bill said at September 20, 2009 6:21 PM:

You know, there is something so wussy about Friedman when he puts on the macho man act. The barely suppressed pseudo-rage wrapped in arch sarcasm, the whole shmear. He has the threatening persona of a highly trained attack rabbit. Feo, fuerte y formal. Well ... one out of three ain't bad.

Vito said at September 20, 2009 6:32 PM:

-If we want to deny a key training center, we'll have to bomb Hamburg.-

I wuz gonna say Queens.

Kenny Bania said at September 20, 2009 10:14 PM:

"We coulda hit Saudia Arabia . . . it was a part of that bubble. Coulda hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could."

That's gold, Jerry, gold!

Rohan Swee said at September 21, 2009 6:01 AM:

Bravo, Friedman. You're in line to win "Most Contemptible, Cretinous Piece of Shit of the Year" for yet another year. And I didn't even have to watch the video to know that you qualified in spades. How does he do it? Talent like that is a gift from the gods. The man is just an unstoppable whore.

Skot German said at September 21, 2009 6:57 AM:

Looking at it another way, we give them an enhanced training center where they can get real live fire combat training with US forces.

I liked Gregory Cochran's reply to some commenter out in cyberspace saying 'we have to fight them there so we won't have to fight them here' where he said 'not if we don't stamp their visas'.

I just noticed there is a comment by a gcochran. Same guy?

Black Death said at September 21, 2009 7:07 AM:

Once a certain individual got himself elected president. His election was considered groundbreaking for many reasons. He had ambitious plans for new social programs and entitlements. He especially hoped to benefit African-Americans. His party enjoyed large majorities in both houses of Congress. But there was one problem - a pesky Asian war that he had inherited from his predecessor. At first, this war seemed mostly an annoyance. However, as the situation worsened, he decided to pour more and more troops and resources into the struggle. But things got no better. In spite of massive amounts of support from the US and her allies, the corrupt, incompetent government of this Asian nation remained unable to cope with the insurgency. The president refused to back down, claiming that defeat would only serve to strengthen the global forces of evil. So he pressed on, even as the liberals of his own party deserted him in droves and began to attack him. Of course, the conservatives, angered by his social programs, bitterly criticized him for misdirecting the war effort. Eventually the war destroyed him, as his presidency ended in failure. So bad were the memories of him that the opposition won five of the next six presidential elections.

The president, of course, was Lyndon Baines Johnson, the first Southerner to be elected to the top office in more than a century. Deja vu, anyone?

Louis Andrews said at September 21, 2009 8:12 AM:

It is pretty clear that both parties are ruled by true nutjobs that have learned little about the world they live in. Afghanistan has an average IQ in the low 80s and a largely illiterate population. Countries with such an IQ level have had short-term "democracies'" but they have been unable to sustain them for long periods. Tatu Vanhanen in his 2009 book, _The Limits of Democratization_ clearly demonstrates this.

Eric Johnson said at September 21, 2009 4:08 PM:

That's certainly interesting, Black Death, though the draft / lack thereof is a big difference I guess.

Stephen said at September 21, 2009 10:34 PM:

Note the familiar propaganda formula used for preparing the populace:

  • Decide to commit additional forces;
  • Have General ask for more troops;
  • Have the media explain that the general is respected by the troops and a nice guy;
  • Have the president comment that he's considering the advice of the general;
  • Commit additional forces.

Its all a choreographed dance as the state subjects its citizens to propaganda.

Mike D. said at September 22, 2009 6:45 PM:

Weren't the Iranians and the Afghanis about to go to war at some point? If only the current schmucks in the US gov't had the brains to get that going again. "Hey, let's you and him fight!" We could sell weapons to the Afghanis and turn a profit with the whole thing and slap Iran around as icing on the cake.

MaryJ said at September 23, 2009 12:06 PM:

Weren't the Iranians and the Afghanis about to go to war at some point?
The Iranians and the Taliban, not the Iranians and the Afghanis. Many Afghanis are Shiite Muslims and have more in common with Iran than they do with the Taliban. The issue was that the Taliban was persecuting the Shiite Afghans, as well as Iran did not want the Taliban to get any stronger because they were afraid of the Taliban getting ahold of Pakistani nukes and aiming them at Tehran.

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