Seven years ago, American forces, working with several tribal groups. destroyed the Taliban and drove them from Afghanistan. There was a moment in which an intelligent president of the United States would have focused on developing an effective Afghanistan army that surmounted tribal alliances and became the center of a new nationalism that might unite the entire nation. Instead, Bush sent US troops off to Iraq and, even worse, completely ignored the importance of an effective Afghan fighting force. It was not until two years ago that an Afghan National Army(ANA) was finally formed. Seven years after the overthrow of the Taliban, the ANA numbers about 70,000 but lacks armor, air power, medical support or any of the necessary items necessary to make an effective fighting force.
Lt. Colonel Abdullah Neshat, commands a battalion which numbers 250 even though it is supposed to have 600 men. In the past eight months the battalion has lost eight men killed and 27 wounded. The tragedy of Afghanistan is failure to build a powerful Afghan army has necessitated foreign troops handling most of the fighting.
John McCain is constantly boasting about his far seeing ideas but where was his voice in 2001-2007 in arguing for an effective Afghan army?