According to President Punchdrunk’s ‘strategy’, winning wasn’t the goal anyway.
Barack Obama will announce the size of his drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan on Wednesday, mapping out an endgame for a 10-year war that has exacted a fearsome human and financial toll.
Two administration officials said Obama would reveal the fruit of his deliberations on a pullback due to begin next month, in a pivotal moment for US war strategy and his own political prospects ahead of his reelection bid.
“The Afghanistan speech will be on Wednesday,” one official said, on condition of anonymity, as Obama moved closer to a final decision on the size of the withdrawals and the future US footprint on Afghan soil.
The president must decide the pace and size of reductions to a 30,000-strong troop escalation which he ordered surged into the conflict in December 2009, a deployment which brought the US garrison to 100,000 soldiers.
Some analysts also expect him to chart a clear glidepath of withdrawals which will lead up to the planned assumption of security control of Afghanistan by the country’s nascent defense forces in 2014.
Obama will also be expected to explain to Americans that his surge has wrought slow, but significant progress, particularly in southern Afghanistan against the Taliban and foreshadow operations in key eastern districts.
……US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, typically cautious about pulling out of Afghanistan too rapidly, appeared to signal some flexibility on Sunday.
“Whatever decision he makes we will have a significant number of troops remaining in Afghanistan,” he told CNN, while adding in a nod to domestic pressure on Obama: “The drawdown must be politically credible here at home.”
That “fearsome human and financial toll” could have been considerably lessened (for us) had we taken my approach. I’d have leveled 3/4ths of the Middle East on 12 September 2001. Islamic terrorists are funded, trained, bred, and supported throughout the region. I’d have made William Tecumseh Sherman look like a boy scout. That’s how you fight a jihad, but I’m a former Soldier, not a politician. The only fearsome human toll would have been the enemy’s.
Politically credible? How about tactically and strategically credible?
Unfortunately, this war has been hampered by half-assed strategy, politically correct bullshit, asinine ROE, and corruption and incompetence on the part of Karzai’s government. Afghans have to be prepared to take the reins of their own national security and the ability to fight off invasions from the Taliban and Al Qaeda across the border in Pakistan and in their own territory.
George W. Bush left Obama a winning hand in both Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s his to lose if he fucks it up.
While this maladroit assclown continues down a path of half-assed strategy, keep in mind that wars left unfinished will be fought again.
This one ain’t over by a long shot.
Obama ignores the military leaders.
Obama is set to reject the advice of the Pentagon by announcing on Wednesday night the withdrawal of up to 30,000 troops from Afghanistan by November next year, in time for the US presidential election.
The move comes despite warnings from his military commanders that recent security gains are fragile. They have been urging him to keep troop numbers high until 2013.
The accelerated drawdown will dismay American and British commanders in Kabul, who have privately expressed concern that the White House is now being driven by political rather than military imperatives.
……Nato commanders led by General David Petraeus have set out the risks of withdrawing too many troops too soon, and warned Obama there has been no noticeable dividend from the death of the al-Qaida leader. They had urged him to keep in place the bulk of the extra 30,000 troops he committed to the “surge” until the end of 2012, so a drawdown can begin in 2013. That would give the military another full “fighting season” to attack Taliban strongholds and target insurgent leaders.
War is much too important to be left to the politicians.