Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Losing Afghanistan...to Lose Iraq

This is just unbelievable:

According to the Baltimore Sun, "a U.S. Army infantry battalion fighting in a critical area of eastern Afghanistan is due to be withdrawn within weeks in order to deploy to Iraq." Apparently this battalion is about to become a key part of President Bush's surge strategy. However, the results in Afghanistan could be dire:

According to Army Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata and other senior U.S. commanders here, that will happen just as the Taliban is expected to unleash a major campaign to cut the vital road between Kabul and Kandahar. The official said the Taliban intend to seize Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-largest city and the place where the group was organized in the 1990s.

...."It is bleak," said Col. Chris Haas, commander of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan.

"The gains we have made over the past few years are mostly gone," said a bearded Special Operations officer, fresh in from advising Afghan army units in battle with 600 to 700 well-equipped Taliban fighters.

For the Bush administration, it is simply not enough to send troops on a dubious mission to "secure" Baghdad that will almost certainly fail. No, the war in Afghanistan, the one we're fighting against actual Al Qaeda terrorists and their allies the Taliban, not Sunni insurgents or Shiite milias who would like us to leave, must also be undermined by pulling out 1,000 or so soldiers that are making a very real difference in Afghanistan, to roll them up into a "surge" that won't even send enough troops to Baghdad to make a difference at all in an escalation that is being carried out almost certainly because President Bush cannot admit to himself or anyone around him that we have already lost whatever chance we had to stabilize Iraq.

How does this even make sense to our President? Our are troops in Afghanistan not also engaged in the "globl war" against Islamic terrorism? Are they not battling to contain Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters streaming in from Pakistan to undermine the fledgling Afghani democracy? Even if 20,000 more troops in Baghdad could somehow touch off a steam roller of peace and stability in Iraq, what good does that even do if we lose Afghanistan to the very same people who attacked us on 9/11? How does he not ask himself these things? How does no one around him ask him these things?

No comments: