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Thread: U.S. Military Says Its Force in Afghanistan Is Insufficient

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    U.S. Military Says Its Force in Afghanistan Is Insufficient

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/24/wo...gewanted=print

    American military commanders with the NATO mission in Afghanistan told President Obama’s chief envoy to the region this weekend that they did not have enough troops to do their job, pushed past their limit by Taliban rebels who operate across borders.

    The commanders emphasized problems in southern Afghanistan, where Taliban insurgents continue to bombard towns and villages with rockets despite a new influx of American troops, and in eastern Afghanistan, where the father-and-son-led Haqqani network of militants has become the main source of attacks against American troops and their Afghan allies.

    The possibility that more troops will be needed in Afghanistan presents the Obama administration with another problem in dealing with a nearly eight-year war that has lost popularity at home, compounded by new questions over the credibility of the Afghan government, which has just held an as-yet inconclusive presidential election beset by complaints of fraud.

    The assessments come as the top American commander in the country, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, has been working to complete a major war strategy review, and as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, described a worsening situation in Afghanistan despite the recent addition of 17,000 American troops ordered by the Obama administration and the extra security efforts surrounding the presidential election.
    This is a big problem that transcends partisan politics. I don't know that there's a good solution to this, though I hope that it's something that both sides can come together on and work toward.

    Concerns about fraud in the election have brought more complaints to Afghan officials. Mr. Karzai’s main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, told a news conference in Kabul on Sunday that the number of suspected irregularities had been “alarming.”

    Afghanistan’s Election Complaints Commission said Sunday that it had made a priority of investigating 35 complaints, including allegations of ballot stuffing, voter intimidation and violence. The commission, jointly led by Western and Afghan officials, said it had received 225 complaints of irregularities.
    I'm a little less concerned about this - there were more complaints in our 08 election.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: U.S. Military Says Its Force in Afghanistan Is Insufficient

    I have always supported our efforts in Afghanistan, even under Bush. I am beginning to worry though if there is a possible solution there, or for that matter, much we can gain at this point.

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    Re: U.S. Military Says Its Force in Afghanistan Is Insufficient

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    I have always supported our efforts in Afghanistan, even under Bush. I am beginning to worry though if there is a possible solution there, or for that matter, much we can gain at this point.
    Celticlord made a good point the other day, noting that although the Afghanistan war has always been seen as the "good" war in contrast with the "bad" Iraq war, it really does look like Iraq actually offers a somewhat higher chance of turning out to be a stable democracy.

    I really worry that Afghanistan will end up exactly where it was before we went in.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: U.S. Military Says Its Force in Afghanistan Is Insufficient

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Celticlord made a good point the other day, noting that although the Afghanistan war has always been seen as the "good" war in contrast with the "bad" Iraq war, it really does look like Iraq actually offers a somewhat higher chance of turning out to be a stable democracy.

    I really worry that Afghanistan will end up exactly where it was before we went in.
    I considered Iraq a bad war not because I was opposed to democracy being brought there, but I understand the point. Afghanistan I supported because it really was going after the terrorists, but I think the lesson we should have learned from the Soviets got forgotten.

    Will be interesting to see how Obama handles this.

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    Re: U.S. Military Says Its Force in Afghanistan Is Insufficient

    Soviets were just the latest in a long string of empires and would-be empires.

    Afghanistan should have been enough on our plate.
    I may be wrong.

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