Ron Rosenbaum

Col. Ralph Peters: Escape the Afghan Quagmire Before It's Too Late

I’ve always felt Col. Ralph Peters was one of the better military analysts on Iraq. He saw the failure of pre surge policies, backed Petraeus and Odierno and the new counter insurgency methods which (along with more than a bit of bribery) brought at least the potential for stability to Iraq. He’s no shrinking violet when it comes to the intelligent use of force where it can serve our interests and attainable ends.

All the more reason for us to pay attention to his stunning–and to me persuasive–argument in todays New York Post–that we shouldn’t become “Pakistan’s U.S. POW’s” in Afghanistan. That it’s time to get out now.

It’s sad and tragic that it may be too late, Obama’s spokesman, later in the day, announced an additional 17,000 troops being sent to join the 30,000 already sending Americans home dead and wounded in an unwinnable tribal war undermined by our our “ally” Pakistan whose intelligence service, the sinister ISI created the Taliban, and who just freed the single most dangerous man on the planet (no, not Osama bin Laden, but nuclear proliferator A. Q. Khan).

It’s sad and tragic that the dynamics of the Presidential campaign, with Obama feeling he had to prove he could be “tough” to counterbalance his waffling on the surge in Iraq, “adopted” Afghanistan as his war.

But Peters piles up enough reasons in his column for one to feel we have to stop this quagmire committment before it turns into Vietnam. It’s sad and tragic that some liberal bloggers like Matt Yglesias, deceived by the success of the counter intelligence strategeies of the surge (which they refused to believe in while it was working in Iraq) now think it’s going to be Obama’s magic weapon in Afghanistan. Surge tactics, Peters, convincingly argues, are not transferable.

He says get out, and get out now and if the Afghans misbehave outside their miserable borders, we have ways of punishing them. It’s a powerful argument. Read the whole column and if you have a better plan for staying in, tell us what it is. Tell the families of the G.I.’s who will be killed and torn to pieces in service of it.