Gates: 'A few years' of combat in Afghanistan - Yahoo! NewsWASHINGTON Ė The Pentagon presented a grim portrait of the Afghanistan war Thursday, offering no assurances about how long Americans will be fighting there or how many U.S. combat troops it will take to win.
Defeating the Taliban and al-Qaida will take "a few years," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, with success on a larger scale in the desperately poor country a much longer proposition. He acknowledged that the Taliban has a firm hold on parts of the country President Barack Obama has called vital to U.S. security.
Congress wants answers to what lawmakers described as basic questions to soothe a war-weary American public.
"In the intelligence business, we always used to categorize information in two ways, secrets and mysteries," Gates, a former CIA director, told a Pentagon news conference.
He added: "Mysteries were those where there were too many variables to predict. And I think that how long U.S. forces will be in Afghanistan is in that area."
With 62,000 U.S. troops already in the country, and another 6,000 headed there by the end of the year, Gates suggested there is little appetite in Washington to add many more.
He said his top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, is free to ask for whatever he needs, but Gates said when the general submits a revised war plan in the coming weeks it will not contain a request to expand the U.S. fighting force.
Obama has made Afghanistan one of his top foreign policy priorities. But his administration is grappling with refocusing on Afghanistan, which the U.S. invaded in October 2001 to hunt for Osama bin Laden, while disentangling 130,000 American troops from Iraq.
In a report released earlier this week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warned the Obama administration that unanswered questions about lingering U.S. involvement in Afghanistan could frustrate the public.
"The administration has raised the stakes by transforming the Afghan war from a limited intervention into a more ambitious and potentially risky counterinsurgency," the Senate report concluded. "These core questions about commitment and sacrifice can be answered only through a rigorous and informed national debate."
The problem the war in Afghanistan is suffering from is the same exact problem that plagued and afflicted the war in Iraq. Both wars were based on absolutely ludicrous premises, which are that Islam is a Religion of Peaceô that is being hijacked by a few fundamentalist radical extremists, that the majority of Muslims in the world today reject the fundamentalist radical extremists hijacking their religion because they are moderate Muslims, that terrorism is a direct result of poverty, despair, hopelessness, and institutionalized oppression, and that we can correct the problems endemic to the region by winning the hearts and minds of Muslims, lifting them up out of poverty, despair, and hopelessness, and eliminating institutionalized oppression by establishing democracy.
The real reality is poverty, despair, hopelessness, and institutionalized oppression are not the root causes of terrorism anymore than they also cause other disparate non-Muslim populations around the world to also perpetrate systematic acts of terrorism. I mean look around the world, it is only Muslims, Muslims alone, and no other groups of people besides Muslims systematically perpetrating acts of terrorism or rioting in response to perceived insults to Islam.
Islam is not a so-called Religion of Peaceô. Study history and the texts and tenants of Islam. Islam since its emergence in 622 has always been a violent Religion of Conquest, as itís sole purpose is to make the world sovereign for Allah via the imposition of Islamic Sharia Law whether through peaceful means or otherwise violent means, and nothing has ever happened since Islamís emergence to change Islamís fundamental mission or make the majority of Muslims reject that fundamental and universal mission incumbent upon all Muslim people.
Finally, the majority of Muslims are not so-called moderate Muslims and that is easy to observe, discern, and ascertain. Indeed, if that were remotely true and the actual case today, then no non-Muslims living inside Muslim countries would be systematically persecuted and oppressed the way they are without exception in every Muslim country in the world today.
In addition, if the majority of Muslims in the world today were truly moderate Muslims as premised by the powers that be then we would see the Muslims that have immigrated and migrated to the West eagerly assimilating and integrating into Western society. However, in reality just the opposite has happened in every country in the world just like clockwork where Muslims have immigrated to the west, without exception not only have the Muslims by and large refused to assimilate and integrate, but those host Western countries in time as the Muslim populations inside their countries continued to expand and increase soon became the victims of Islamic terrorist attacks and riots.
Finally, it is impossible to win the hearts and minds of Muslim people because they are under strict obligation to hate our guts no matter what we do for them. Hence, the war in Afghanistan just like the war in Iraq is predestined to fail because the premises it is based on are all ludicrous and indeed exceedingly fantasy based.
Therefore, we need to recognize and acknowledge these premises are all false and baseless, regroup, rethink and reformulate new strategies to address these problems.