Thursday, April 2, 2009

Michael Yon on Afghanistan

Don't miss Michael Yon's OpEd in The Washington Times about Obama's plan for Afghanistan.

Yon, who knows a thing or two about Afghanistan, believes that Obama's plan falls far short of what it should be. He says Obama's goal of 216,000 Afghan security forces by 2011 is nowhere near the 400,000 U.S. military forces say are necessary to secure Afghanistan.

When Obama's plan was announced last week, some members of the press called the plan "bold" but Yon begs to differ.

"Like Mr. Bush before him, Mr. Obama is trying to win the AfPak war on the cheap while minimizing political risks. He's playing safe, and any truly experienced combat leader will tell you that the surest way to lose a lot of people is to try to save all of them. Bold was the president who committed to putting a man on the moon before the end of that decade. Our current president has not committed to the relatively much easier and straightforward task of creating 400,000 Afghan security personnel during the course of his first term.

A truly bold plan would authorize the deployment of another 40,000 U.S. troops, and set a goal of 400,000 Afghan security force members by, say, 2013. The clock is ticking."

Yon contends that the longer the Afghanistan conflict draws out, the less support we will have. He says the Obama plan pulls us into a quagmire because it does not provide the necessary forces and plans for the security of Afghanistan; in fact, it would take 12 years at the rate Obama plans to train forces for us to reach the appropriate numbers.

Obama either needs to commit to the mission or get out. It remains to be seen how committed he is to Afghanistan. He appears to be committed for now with this current "surge" but is he in for the long haul? A secure Afghanistan is still a long way off. And he does not seem to be inclined to ask the Europeans for help.

Yon is most worried about losing the support of the Afghan people and that is certainly an important issue. To that end, the administration needs to make all efforts to follow the advice of the generals "on the ground" and close this one out.


G.R. said...

I have a feeling that our little history anemic friend will probably want to say something he/she doesn't know anything about, so I will help with some facts.

Afghanistan is an almost impossilbe country to conquer or occupy with force. That is why the U.S. there with the cooperation of the Afghani government.

In December 1979 the Bear went over the mountain, and what a surprise he got. After ten years of Hell he went back to Russia, and other parts of the old Soviet Union, with his tail between his legs. (14,000 plus deaths was even too much for the hard line Soviet leaders.)

The Soviet-Afghan war in some circles is considered the Soviet's version of Vietman. Veitnam, remember that little U.S. excursion into Southeast Asia? (Note to the French, should have left that country alone after you gave them independence during WWII). But that's not my point.

My point is the left in America raised hell on a daily bases during the Vietnam War and forced the U.S. to withdraw. Yet, these are basically the same Vietnam War protesting idiot who want our forces to go half-assed into Afghanistan?

yukio ngaby said...

I think the only reason Obama is still even thinking of Afghanistan is becasue he wants to catch bin Laden and be hailed as a savior in the US.

There's little chance of that happening except by dumb luck, especially as he's redirecting money to the domestic, but we'll see how many lives he'll waste in this uncommitted war. He needs to either fight to win (the preferred choice), or get out.