Sunday, July 20, 2008

Obama Supports McCain's Surge for Afghanistan

While Obama still pretends the Surge in Iraq didn't work, he has decided to endorse McCain's plan to move troops from Iraq into Afghanistan, rather than "bring them home" as Obama has previously insisted.

The funny thing is, a "surge" may not actually be the answer in Afghanistan. The Bush administration is working out the forward plan for Afghanistan, as was reported yesterday:

U.S. intelligence officials summoned top Afghanistan experts to Virginia, including ex-ground commander Army Lt. Gen. David Barno, to chart a plan for victory, the Daily News has learned.

One point several of the experts agreed on: Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are clueless about the seven-year war, because each wants a troop surge. "Both candidates putting so much emphasis on troop numbers in Afghanistan have illustrated they have not grasped what the problem is," said New York University scholar Barnett Rubin, who attended the brainstorming summit.

I certainly don't know who is right here. But one thing I'm sure of -- Obama's "me-too" following McCain's lead on Afghanistan is not something you can count on him supporting in a month or two -- because after all, he is the candidate of "change" -- change you can count on.


Charles said...

If your memories are hazy, it probably doesn't help much to see your refresher course.

Frankly, we accomplished our goal in Afghanistan, in that we removed their ability to train terrorists.

Unfortunately, that has moved to Pakistan, and you can't just invade a nuclear country.

At least you didn't follow Barack's lead and blame the Iraq war for Obama sneaking to Pakistan -- since he did that in December of 2001, and we didn't start moving troops to the Iraq theatre until much later.

JoshSN said...

One, McCain's Oct 2006 surge proposal was really only to increase troops 2.5% over their previous maximum. Does anyone really think that level of change was the cause of what's happened in Iraq?

Charles, I'm afraid you haven't been keeping up with the news. The Talibanization of the 25,000,000 Pushtun people of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region is steadily increasing for the last few years.

Now, if America was advancing steadily for years, we'd say we were "winning." I'm not sure what word America applies to itself when the other side does that, year after year.

Try the recent issue of International Security quarterly, published at MIT, for a couple articles that go far past the regular news.

Charles said...

And how many troops do you think "2.5% more than the previous MAXIMUM" was, at a time we were down over 20% from the previous maximum?

As to Afghanistan, the failure of the Pakistani government to either handle the Taliban, or to allow us to do so, is a problem.

But how any opponent of the war could be upset that we didn't invade Pakistan, an ally, is beyond me.

Now, we should also remember that the Taliban did not attack us on 9/11. In fact, if the Taliban had turned over Osama, and allowed us to bomb the training camps, we were not going to force them out of power.

They were the victims of the "friend of our enemy is our enemy" rule. Unfortunately, other countries do not share that view of the Taliban, and so it's hard to even get our Nato allies in Afghanistan to support attacking Taliban in Pakistan.

melvin said...

McCain joined barack obama in calling for a surge in afghanistan. Tiesday as the presidential contenders sparred.
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