October 13, 2009

A useful corrective

A while ago I posted about drinking water in front of ANSF during Ramadan, after an unfortunate incident that was reported relating to that little faux pas. AfghanQuest (aka Bill&Bob) provides the other side of that story. Regardless of how causal it was in this case, it's still not very polite, but I still value the corrective.

Posted by BruceR at 02:59 PM

The schad decline of Michael Scheuer

One can forgive the headline- and subhead-writer at Foreign Policy for being baffled when trying to title Michael Scheuer's latest stream of consciousness rant. I'm quite sure Scheuer couldn't if he tried.

Starting off by calling it "America's lost war in Afghanistan," Scheuer still stays in the realm of sanity for the first couple paragraphs, accurately stating, "a four-star U.S. general [McChrystal] does not ask for a near doubling of his force to smooth out minor problems." The enemy, he writes, is "has evolved into an Islamist-nationalist freedom struggle not unlike that which beat the Red Army." Debatable, but okay, let's go with it.

It's when he starts discussing what to do next that Scheuer gets a little odd. Stating that the McChrystal request is "far short of what is needed to "win" in Afghanistan", he then argues that Obama must still "quickly" reinforce the losing effort.

You see, "we must either destroy it [the Taliban] root and branch or leave. This issue merits debate, but that must wait until McChrystal gets the troops needed to delay defeat."

And if the "more troops" side were then to win that debate? "Military victory would require 400,000 to 500,000 additional troops, the wide use of land mines... and the killing of the enemy and its civilian supporters in the numbers needed to make them admit the game is not worth the candle. This clearly is not a viable option."

So, to be clear. The U.S. should send a lot of troops now without further debate. The reason being that this will allow the time for a fuller debate. This fuller debate will be entirely pointless, however, because pulling the troops out is now the only real option open anyway. Check.

Apparently in the unique universe Scheuer lives in now the main reason you would send troops some place is so that you can assess their sacrifices there are pointless as quickly and efficiently as possible.

"Overall, then, we are well along the road to self-imposed defeat in Afghanistan, and about the best we can do is give McChrystal the troops he needs to slow defeat. After doing that, we can figure out how to get out of Afghanistan in an orderly manner, while preparing to absorb more al Qaeda attacks in North America."

Schorter Scheuer: We're all schcrewed.

Posted by BruceR at 12:10 PM

Today's essential Afghan slide

From Michael Yon, a snap of a Gen. Petraeus briefing slide from a speech in Holland:

Also worth reading today: Anthony Lloyd with British forces in Helmand

Posted by BruceR at 11:06 AM