White House Struggles to Gauge Afghan Success
Along with his other problems, the president is struggling to quantify what is now his war in Afghanistan. For seven years Americans have listened to the democrats wail about keeping our eye on the ball and the fact that president Bush supposedly didn't keep his eye on the ball. According to the democrats, Bush was fighting a war in Iraq, when the real war that needed fighting was in Afghanistan.
We were told by the liberals that the battle in the war on terror wasn't in Iraq at all, but was rather in Afghanistan. And now that we have a democrat president and a liberal administration prosecuting the war in Afghanistan? What do we see. We see an ever widening quagmire IMO and no signs of the stated abilities that were trumpeted by this president before his election.
Americans need to remember, that the liberal socialist democrats wanted to throw in the towel and quit in Iraq for five years. And when they weren't demonizing president Bush and our military over Iraq, they were equating Iraq to Vietnam and attempting to bring their forced perspectives into reality in the court of public opinion. Thankfully, president Bush and his military commanders prevailed in Iraq. America finally won the war in Iraq before president Bush left office. But the battle in Afghanistan was left to the incoming administration.
Not that it was a lost cause by any stretch of imagination. As recent as a year ago things were at least static in Afghanistan. But a lot can change in a year and a lot has changed. Last year, there was very little commentary about the war in Afghanistan from our soon to be president. When he did speak of Afghanistan, he spoke of the (his) resolution being the potential invasion of Pakistan (if need be).
Now that he is president and he has had six months to establish his policies and the direction of the military as it concerns both Iraq and Afghanistan? What seems to be the reality is that Barack Obama is trying to nail jello to a wall. Not because it needs to be done, but because he believes that it needs to be done.
More specifically, the president replaced the commanding general overseeing the war in Afghanistan a couple of months ago. Apparently he wanted someone more aligned with his own thinking on the war and what was necessary to prosecute the war.
President Obama replaced General David McKiernan with General Stanley McChrystal. Of course the published reports at the time were that the president only wanted someone with a fresh perspective and a new way of approaching the war in Afghanistan.
Well he got his wish. General Stanley McChrystal, was the former special forces and special operations commander for the US Army and joint services command. The one general supposedly best situated for evaluating and implementing reduced size forces in a theater of war operations. Forces supposedly capable of doing far more with less is this general's credential and expertise.
Special warfare tactics have proven themselves in limited engagements, but not in theater wide wars. And there in lies the problem IMO.
I must admit to a great amount of trepidation when I witnessed General Mckeirnan being relieved of duty and the supposed all star of special operations being appointed to command the war. I now believe that my fears were justified, based upon the numbers being reported daily from Afghanistan. It is bad enough that the casualty rates have increased dramatically since president Obama and his new general have changed the direction of the war, but it is also noteworthy (IMO) that General McCrystal is now calling for a doubling of ground troops in Afghanistan.
Three points should immediately scream out at the average American watching this unfold. First, that the general chosen to get the job done with his special warfare skills, seems to be bogged down and unable to accomplish the task, And worse, his performance to date is noticeably worse that the man that he relieved.
Second, that General McCrystal is calling for a dramatic increase (doubling) of ground troops in Afghanistan. Wasn't this one of the reason that president Obama used to justify his changing gears and moving in a different direction with a different general three months ago? McKiernon wanted more troops and he was flatly denied and replaced. Weren't we all led to believe that General McCrystal was the long awaited answer and that all that was required was a change of tactics and application by a professional?
Thirdly....does anyone remember the criticism leveled at president Bush and Sec. Defense Rumsfeld when they applied the exact same tactics under the recommendation of General Tommy Franks in Iraq? Yes, there were plenty of people both inside and outside of the military that said from the beginning, that we were not committing enough resources to Iraq. Sadly, it took five years and several thousand lives to convince the president to do what was necessary to win the war.
Does our current president intend to do the same? Are Americans going to be forced to endure another four or five years of war in Afghanistan, while more Americans lose their lives waiting for this president to admit that he has made a mistake.
Our allies seem to have known or suspected what is afoot and they have collectively stated that they do not intend to buy into further casualties for their own people, via what they see as nothing new from this president. The British having just had the worst month in the war since it's beginning. And they are already talking about withdrawing their forces in the face of increased Taliban insurgency.
The liberal democrats and this president have decried for over five years the wars in the middle east and equated them to Vietnam. I now fear that they are about to finally get their wish. Although it will be several more years and several more thousand American lives lost. Before America once again declares peace with honor and slips away again from a history that no one will care to remember.