Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mr . President - Make a Decision!

Obama Afganistan

Over the last two years a revitalized Taliban has been trying to take back what it lost in 2001. An active enemy requires more troops to control than a passive one.

There are several strategies that could be adopted if we are going to stay, all of which require more troops. No one thinks a purely military victory is possible, the military perquisite for enabling the non-military aspects will require troops. To use the General Petraeus’s catch phrase Clear, Hold, Build build is the key part and largely non-military, but until an area is cleared and held building cannot happen. It appears we have barely the strength on the ground to hold what we have. A couple weeks ago Michael Yon had video where he told of commander who pointed to an area on the map “The Taliban control that place, we could move in and clear them out but we don’t have the the strength to hold it and when we left the Taliban would back and kill everyone who helped us.” So they were not clearing it.

So we are at an impasse, we can cut our losses and leave, or we can reinforce. Either is better than hoping the problem will go away if we ignore it. A decision needs to be made soon.


Jeff said...

As I say over at my blog the geological leisureliness in which Obama has approached this decision is shocking.

You can bet Bush would not have allowed this to take so long. I can assure you many military commanders are lossing confidence in the President by the day.

LFC said...

Re the above comment: The "leisureliness" is not "shocking." It is the sign of an intelligent decision maker facing a situation in which there are no good options. Naturally he is going to take a while to make a decision. Would you have preferred, Jeff, the kind of decisionmaking process that produced the 2003 invasion of Iraq? That worked well, yeah.

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