View Full Version : Absurd expectations...

10-22-2011, 06:38 AM
... from the academic world, the media and politicians and some generals was the underlying problem in Afghanistan.

In my view, US and international troops have done real improvements in health care, narcotics (in Nangarhar), education and infrastructure. They have trained the Afghan army fairly well. They have won the counter-terrorism mission, and in my opinion, that war is over. They have won every tactical battle against insurgents but I don't think they'll parlay that into forcing the Taliban into agreement because recruitment levels were helped by the surge. Counter-insurgency doctrine suggests a country like Afghanistan requires 600,000 troops and cops to fully secure a nation and we were never remotely near that because, quite frankly, the politicians would never be able to provide that. Asking 150,000 troops to take three times the load was immoral.

In my opinion, asking McChrystal/Petraeus to help strengthen the Afghan gov't was the height of absurdity and I wish they had made it clear to President Obama that it was not their job. State building and creating a strong central government is a job primarily for indigenous Afghan leadership and that will take 30-40 years of patient, tolerant investment. Not a blank check. Not 145 billion dollars a year (WTF were they thinking?)

Quite frankly, it's unacceptable to read articles talking about the war in Afghanistan being "unwinnable" citing the same academics, journalists and politicians who pushed Obama for the same strategy.

The legacy of this war is one of incurable optimism and unrealistic expectations. Not of defeat.