The top American general in Afghanistan discounted stories about a growing insurgency in the nation and assured the world, things remain the same as always. As to the insurgency, General Dan McNeill, told reporters: “I think that it’s probably stayed the same as it was.” He claimed the only differernce is the presence of an additional eight or nine thousand more soldiers than previously which is probably what accounts for additional casualties. “We exposed ourselves to a lot more things than the force has exposed themselves to in times past. And, that, more than anything, created the increased levels of violence that are so often referred to in the news…there wasn’t a resurgent Taliban.”
On one hand, Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates is berating and scolding NATO allies for failure to dispatch more troops to Afghanistan, and General McNeill insists there is no surge in Taliban attacks. If we accept the McNeill thesis that more troops in the field result in more casualties, the answer is simple — reduce the number of troops in the field and the result will be fewer casualties. In fact, why not tell the Germans to go home. One is only left to wonder if commanders in the field ever communicate to Bush administration officials. Does Secretary Gates have any understanding how the words of General McNeill will be interpreted by German officials who are being criticised for not sending troops?