A moment of truth on Afghanistan
Reader Email - Vindication

A convergence of pipe hitters

Well and analysts and other types as well.

Reporting from Washington - The CIA is deploying teams of spies, analysts and paramilitary operatives to Afghanistan, part of a broad intelligence "surge" that will make its station there among the largest in the agency's history, U.S. officials say.

But it seems that as we change our strategy to a population-centric one, which by nature means fewer force on force encounters, we are also ramping up our ability to operate on the dark side. Remember now, that McChrystal was the Commander of JSOC, our Department of Dirty Tricks, to the extent that we have one. He led them in all our efforts in Iraq to capture or ventilate huge numbers of bad guys.

I was talking with David Bellavia recently and he said that what people don't remember or simply didn't know, is that we killed terrorists and militia members in bunches during the Surge. As the Sons and Daughters of Iraq stood up, they began telling us where the bad guys were. Once we knew that, we sent in any number of task force types to scarf them up or send them along to their 72 goats. These were McChrystals' boys and they were extremely busy. While we were bust securing the populace by day, at night the sheepdogs were clearing the rabid animals out, and they were not coddling them, that's for sure.

That same dynamic is what Gen. McChrystal needs to create in Afghanistan. Get our troops out and among the locals living as closely together as possible. Show them that we share their sacrifices and that we are not going to leave them to the tender mercies of the Talibs. Then as they trust us, they will tell us just who the bad guys are and where we can find them. We swoop in, bag 'em and tag 'em, no collateral damage just dead or captured tangos. That was a good portion of the reason to bring McChrystal in to start with. So don't let the revised ROE lead you to think the bad guys are getting a free pass here. Not at all, we are just changing where and when we will engage them, and it is not goung to end up a happy thing for them if we do it right.

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