Thursday, January 29, 2009

US Retreating From Nation Building, but Still 'Slogging' Along in Afghanistan

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates was subject to a hearing with the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday and there were some frank admissions on his part.
The buildup must be part of a new strategy that emphasizes expelling terrorists and their allies and avoids overreaching in achieving broader economic and political goals, Gates said.

“Afghanistan is the fourth or fifth poorest country in the world,” Gates said. “If we set ourselves the objective of creating some sort of Central Asian Valhalla over there, we will lose, because nobody in the world has that kind of time, patience or money.”

OK, step one is admitting the problem. Even after almost eight years.
The committee’s senior Republican member, Senator John McCain of Arizona, said the American public “must understand this is a hard, long slog we’re in, in Afghanistan.”

Is that all McCain can say? Doesn't he, more than anybody understand the costs of dithering leadership during a war effort that looks increasingly disorientated?
In Afghanistan, Gates said the highest priority is to train and expand the Afghan army and police, which would give the U.S. an “exit ticket” from the conflict.

Does anybody in their right mind think that the Afghan army and police will successfully take this off US and NATO hands?

No comments:

Post a Comment