As President Obama contemplates the strategy in Afghanistan, the political debate in Washington has gone viral. The usual suspects — Bob Herbert, Eugene Robinson, and even George Will — have come out with opinion pieces on why the troops should abandon the mission in Afghanistan.
However, what each of them fails to realize is that the strategy General Stanley McChrystal articulated when arriving in the country has barely had a chance to take shape after several years of failure. Furthermore, the additional 6,000 troops he initially requested have yet to arrive. It would behoove the president to give the commander on the ground the chance to succeed before pulling the rug from underneath him.
The Democrats on the Hill are also pounding their fists to depart and dissolve our commitment to the Afghan people. It is understandable that Americans question our mission in a country that has not done enough to help itself. The Afghanistan National Army is a failure, and many of the local troops who sign up are never to be seen after receiving uniforms. A testament to General McChrystal’s commitment is his resolve to realign the Afghanistan National Security Forces, which the Army falls under, to better train the Afghans to fight their own battles. There are several key law enforcement-mentored units fighting the Taliban narcotic networks that McChrystal wants to replicate to engage insurgents wreaking havoc on the local populace.
The strategy advocated by Vice President Biden is the same tired old policy of counter-terrorism that allowed Afghanistan to be a safe haven for al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The terror drone strikes he advocates for are turning the people living along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan against our efforts. Also, it is obvious that a lot of funding for the insurgency comes from Pakistan; however, relying solely on Special Forces to protect the civilians from insurgents in populated areas is difficult. The advice of the vice president was rejected earlier and should be again. With his penchant for ridiculous remarks and hasty decisions, no serious policy maker should give his thoughts serious consideration.