President Barack Obama thought he had resolved a problem with relieving General McChrystal of his command in Afghanistan, but it becomes increasingly clear in so doing the proverbial can of worms was opened. Senator John McCain, fighting to win a primary against a Tea Party opponent, decided the time was now for him to draw upon his military credentials and challenge the president on his war strategy. “you cannot tell your enemy,” said the senator, ” when you’re leaving in warfare and expect your strategy to prevail. That’s just a fundamental of warfare.” In one sense, McCain has a valid point about letting the enemy know when you leave the battlefield, but the question is whether in so doing the object of that information is the enemy or your ally in Kabul? As long as incompetent, corrupt President Karzai knows there will be US and NATO forces in his nation, there will be no move to end corruption and inefficiency.
Another problem is by appointing General Petraeus, the president is now trapped in a dilemma. The general has repeatedly made clear.”we have to be careful of deadlines.” What happens if Petraeus wants to hold off on sending troops home, does Obama fire him?
Posted in Asia, Barack Obama, Conservatives, Democrats, Europe, Human Rights, Islam, Liberals, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, Republicans
The Pentagon almost unanimously agreed with the dismissal of General McChrystal for insubordination and backed the appointment of General Petraeus as the new commander in Affghanistan. Joint chief of Staff chair, Admiral Mike Mullen, said: “Any new commander, General Petraeus included, will go in, assess his command, and what is it going to take to achieve the mission.” He has the flexibility to introduce new tactics or any changes that are necessary. Mullen, admitted he was “nearly sick” when he first read the Rolling Stone article. “Literally, physically, I couldn’t believe it.” Of course, he basically admitted current tactics would be pursued, although there might be adjustments.
Reality, is that General McChyrstal violated his West Point training, but the unanswered question is whether a new general will obtain the old or new results. This blog doubts the end result will be altered, but we offer the Pentagon good wishes on their old ideas.
For over a year, supporters of the Iraq was have cited the famous “surge” which they claim ended violence and proved America could win the war in Iraq, with or without WMD. General David Petraeus, who designed the surge, now expresses the view of being very concerned about the growing escalation in violence within Iraq– a year after the surge. However, according to General Petraeus while violence is escalating in Iraq, “it is a heck of a lot less than the height of violence in Iraq.”
His comments are reassuring. Now, we know there is an escalation of violence in Iraq, but it is not as bad as two years ago. Question: Exactly when does the surge lead to no more surges in violence?
Posted in Barack Obama, Conservatives, George Bush, Iraq War, Islam, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Petraeus, Surge
General Petraeus summed up the real issues confronting American and NATO forces in Afghanistan by saying what is most important for success is “shovels, tractors and teaching degrees.” He emphasized in fighting the Taliban it entailed “more than just killing or capturing terrorists and extremists.” A major problem in Afghanistan is focusing on the Taliban and not focusing enough on economic development, and providing jobs for Afghans. Of course, jobs in themselves are also not the “solution” because what is lacking in Afghanistan is any semblance of either a short or long term plan.
Unfortunately, General Petraeus can not discuss the major problem confronting the war in Afghanistan. From President Karzai down, the government is led by corrupt, incompetent individuals who line their pockets with money rather than ensure money flows into economic development. Unfortunately, General Petraeus as a military leader is unable to confront the major issue of –drugs. We focus energy on destroying drugs. How about purchasing the entire drug crop of farmers and depriving the Taliban of that source of revenue?
Seven years ago, American troops invaded Afghanistan working with tribal opponents of the Tallban and destroyed the fundamentalist regime. The world witnessed scenes of joyous Afghanis who welcomed the overthrow of the repressive Taliban and it was clear support for the fundamentalists was at a low point. As the Taliban fled, American troops did not pursue Osama bin Laden but allowed the al-Qaeda leader to gain safety in the mountainous regions on the border of Pakistan. During the ensuing years little was done by American forces to train, equip, and allow an Afghan army to assume responsibility for dealing with militants. Little was done to invest billions in creating jobs for Afghans by building an infrastructure or assisting farmers to develop crops other than poppy fields.
Yesterday, General Petraeus said a “comprehensive approach” is needed to deal with the war in Afghanistan. He believes it is necessary to reconcile with the Afghan population and work with Pakistan on border issues. Petraeus insists coalition and allied forces must be seen as “liberators,” not occupiers. But, they once had that reputation and lost it. Isn’t it time for Bush to take responsibility for losing the war in Afghanistan, after all, he claims he won the war in Iraq!