Securing the LZ
A Red Star Cluster and a Backpack

Department of the Obvious- More troops needed for A-Stan

Richard Holbrooke is Obama's Afghanistan-Pakistan Czar and he has been meeting with the combatant commanders in A-Stan. Shockingly they are telling him that if President Obama wants to stand up to his rhetoric in front of the VFW, then they need more troops. This is not well-received among some of the national security team, w/ Gen. Jones having said that a request for more troops would cause Obama to have a WTF? moment.

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.

All of this is common knowledge and really not much in dispute for either pro-mission or pro-"rubble doesn't make trouble", or pro-"Run! you're on MLK, RUN!" (ref?) advocates. The real question is "What is the Obama team gonna do?". The actual resolve to fight the 10+ year long war it would take to achieve a "victory" is non-existent in either the administration or the public for that matter. So "What is the Obama team gonna do?".

He painted himself into a corner with all the campaign rhetoric about the "Good War", and killing bin Laden with a Gerber multi-tool in the Pakistani hinterland. Then he added troops (21,000 as planned so far), and he has, so far, been continuing to talk about A-Stan as a war of necessity. But that also gave him responsibility and now the political implications are as much a factor as national security ever was, which I question. But again "What is the Obama team gonna do?". Ok I will stop asking and make my prediction, I think they will add more troops above the 21k mini-surge already committed. He really gave himself no choice, although I think the claims about "good war" etc. were simply political cover for his Iraq "Cut & Run" chorus lead tenor role.

The question then becomes "What will the already beaten and bloodied Democrats in Congress do when a request for 25-25k troops comes?". I predict chaos, wailing and gnashing of teeth and a fearsome fight. Sadly we have to win it and it is time to prepare. Gladly, the left will be no more prepared for this than their "Betray Us" ad when we played this same game in 2006/7. I wish this was played on a higher level, but we have to prevail.

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