Saturday, January 10, 2009

US General Asks for More Troops, Helicopters for Afghanistan

The Globe and Mail reprint this wire piece from AP about how the Obama mission are going to make Afghanistan a priority and are expected to make a bigger push on the mission. (Read full article)

“Gen. McKiernan explained the current situation and talked about the incoming troops and the need for additional enablers...things like helicopters, engineers, military police, transportation assets,” said Colonel Greg Julian, a U.S. military spokesman.

“As we expand in the south, we will need those additional enablers to cover for the troops,” Col. Julian said.

The United States is sending up to 30,000 troops over to Afghanistan, some of whom will go to its volatile southern provinces, to combat a Taliban insurgency that has sent violence to record levels.

At the bottom of the article is this:

Mr. Biden's visit to Afghanistan follows his trip to neighbouring Pakistan, where aides said he met with President Asif Ali Zadari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Mr. Biden also discussed counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and the economy with Pakistan's interior adviser Rehman Malik and army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani.

Afghanistan and Pakistan are embroiled in a vicious Taliban-led insurgency, which has claimed thousands of lives.

I keep going on about this but the US and the media who report it are downplaying the Pakistan situation. It's like Vietnam. The Johnson Administration tried to contain the fight to Vietcong guerillas in the south but weren't going after the troop and supply line coming from the North down the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Cambodia and Laos, as if these two were operating in separate vaccuums. Fast forward to 2009 and they are saying, we can only fight the bad guys in Afghanistan, even though the headquarters and supply routes are operating safely from next door in Pakistan.

Doing something about Pakistan is difficult or maybe impossible. They are nuclear armed. But not doing anything means they cannot win. (As Herman Edwards would say: "You play to win the game.")

One could contend that the US are doing something about Pakistan. They are supplying the flimsy government, which barely controls the country with at least $2 billion a year in aid, in hopes that they'll clamp down on the Taliban, and Al Qaeda and cut off the supplies. They haven't done anything significant that way in eight years, the situation has gotten worse, so why do the gamble so much in hopes that they'll have some miraculous change of heart? Or maybe they do have a change of heart, but even with good intentions they admit that they cannot control the tribal areas where the terrorist groups operate. OK then, why are we bothering?


  1. Yada yada yada, get it in your fucking heads, nobody wins in Afghanistan. Please re-read Winston Churchill`s 1897 report on Afghanistan. Lets try to learn from other people`s mistakes.

  2. It'd be fine if they went in and blasted Al Qaeda and the Taliban. (Like I thought they were supposed to do.) But they hung around, established a govt. with Karzai and then did nation building.

    Nation building doesn't work, especially in a horrible country like Afghanistan.