In his effort to rid Democrats of their “whimpy” image, President Obama has made the classical mistake of dealing with guerrilla warfare– he has accepted the military demands for more and more troops. Within days of assuming office, Obama dispatched thousands of troops to Afghanistan and supported calls for another 17,000. General Stanley McChrystal who commands US forces in that nation is now calling for even greater numbers to be sent to quell the Taliban insurgency. Two of his trusted civilian advisers including Stephen Biddle of the Council on Foreign Relations, have indicated there can be no victory unless forces in Afghanistan reach numbers like 300,000 to 600,000. Of course, those are the numbers that eventually wound up in Vietnam.
Obama’s current goal is to send 68,000 troops to Afghanistan which is about double the number there when he assumed office. Lost in this desire to send more and more and more troops is a well planned strategy whose goal would be to create an Afghan army that could handle its own problems. Guerrilla wars are not won by “more” they are won by an effective strategy that wins over support of the people. Perhaps, President Obama can inform the American people exactly how that goal will be achieved!
The end result of the Obama strategy is to have his name go down in history as the second Lyndon Johnson who thought bravado and more troops solved all problems.