After reading the lowly classified reports on the Afghanistan war leaked by WikiLeaks I am not surprised. It’s not that I am clairvoyant. It is exactly the way I imagined the administrations portraying a counterinsurgency war to justify why we are involved.
I also think the New York Times reporting Gen. James Jones, the president’s national security adviser, was spot on when he said the report covered a period from 2003 to 2009 and things are now different.
“On Dec. 1, 2009, President Obama announced a new strategy with a substantial increase in resources for Afghanistan, and increased focus on Al Qaeda and Taliban safe-havens in Pakistan, precisely because of the grave situation that had developed over several years,” said Gen. James L. Jones, White House national security adviser, in a statement released Sunday.
“We know that serious challenges lie ahead, but if Afghanistan is permitted to slide backwards, we will again face a threat from violent extremist groups like Al Qaeda who will have more space to plot and train,” the statement said.
No doubt resources and strategy have improved. But there remains no evidence it will work in terms of winning and leaving.
President Obama’s timetable to withdraw troops based on conditions on the ground in the summer of 2011 is a ruse.
It is a feeble gesture to goose the corrupt Karzai government into responsible action to man up. It deludes war skeptics back home an end is in sight. It strengthens the resolve of insurgents and al-Quada to continue their effort.
No foreign invader has conquered the minds of the Afghans and our government leaders will not be the first.
Afghanistan is the scene of two battlegrounds. One is a civil war between the Taliban, those controlled by tribal war lords and the remainder who are seeking the best of both evils. The second is a band of al-Quada intent to support the Taliban in case they return to power and use the land to train and attack their world’s infidels.
These are wars of attrition and my feeling is that the U.S. lacks the will and resources in the long haul.
My goodness, at the rate we are “winning” the nation-building element of our counterinsurgency strategy will take a minimum of 20 years.
Afghanistan is no longer our war of choice in terms of revenge for 9/11 for our forces did rid al-Qaeda and crushed the Taliban from its base of power.
According to Obama, the reason we remain in the Afghan provinces is because the previous administration “took its eye off the ball.” Well, sir, it is not the good war any longer.
The American people are divided on the Afghan/Pakistan theater. Their hearts are not in it except for the gratitude of our volunteer forces putting their lives in harm’s way.
If our military was dependent on the draft for manpower, I can guarantee a rerun of the sentiment against it we saw in the Vietnam war.
Our culture also rejects the passion for the war effort. That is manifested in the low attendance, ratings and readership of Afghan/Iraq war stories in movies, television and books.
We had our 9/11, but Hollywood has failed to produce propaganda hero films as it did after Pearl Harbor. Where heroism portrayed in the battles of Guadacanal, Iwo Jima and D-Day stoked American patriotism from San Diego to Bangor, Maine, that same portrayal of our fighting forces in Fallajah and Kandajar fall on deaf ears. “Hurt Locker” in 2009 was one of the lowest attended films at the time ever to win the Best Picture Academy of Awards.
The WikiLeaks is just another step in raising the public psyche to pay closer attention to what’s going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Cross posted on The Remmers Report
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Jerry Remmers worked 26 years in the newspaper business. His last 23 years was with the Evening Tribune in San Diego where assignments included reporter, assistant city editor, county and politics editor.