5, December 2009 Afghanistan
Obama’s speech calling for an upsurge in troop levels in Afghanistan was both unconvincing and profoundly disappointing. The war infested culture of the Pentagon out-snookered Obama by leaking General McChrystal’s request for more troops and effectively boxed him in to adhere to the status quo. McChrystal’s “request” for more troops was eerily similar to General Westmoreland’s ongoing requests for more troops in Vietnam. I urge readers to Google ‘Bill Moyers Journal’ last month in which he featured recorded conversations between President Johnson and Robert McNamara just prior to President Johnson’s announcement of an increase in troop levels in Vietnam.
The ill-fated Soviet invasion of Afghanistan has also been largely ignored or forgotten. This turned out to be the final nail in the USSR coffin.
Like many of his presidential predecessors, Obama shamelessly used the West Point graduates as convenient props to deliver his war message. Obama grossly exaggerated the alleged threat from Al Qaeda. The insurgency is not comprised of Al Qaeda renegades but of disparate groups of Taliban fighters. It makes little sense to augment troop levels to support the thoroughly disgraced and corrupt Karzai government, and his oppressive and corrupt Afghan police and army.
Our continued occupation is fueling the insurgency and killing more insurgents and civilians will only intensify the rage and embolden the Taliban. It is time to exit this un-winnable quagmire and negotiate a power sharing settlement with the Taliban.