General David Petraeus is confused, NATO nations are confused, and, most important, American forces in Afghanistan are completely confused. Afghanistan President Karzai issued a statement over the weekend which called for a significant reduction in the use of armed force operations against the Taliban because Afghans were suffering since they wound up in the line of fire. General Petraeus is in the midst of major military operations which include many night operations, the ones Karzai wants to cease.
On one hand, Karzai wants reduction in military operations, on the other his spokesman said his comments were “not a critique of the overall military operations.” We gather from this he wants to reduce night operations, but not really reduce them. Republican Senator Lindsay Graham responded to the Karzai statement by expressing: “I’m just stunned. To take night operations off the table would be a disaster.”
This episode simply reflects the confusion which has been part of US military operations since 2001. It is now nearly a decade of confusion, misunderstandings, employment of various military strategies, corruption, incompetence and a host of other maladies in the Afghan government and US/NATO operations. Perhaps, the time has come to simply say, “enough is enough.” It will not get better tomorrow– or the day or month or year after. It is time to pack up and leave. Anyone recall the departure from Saigon?