Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What He Said, pt V

President Obama needs to make a decision: Either give the general the resources he believes he needs, or change the mission. I'm for changing the mission. Concentrate on the continued destruction of al Qaeda and its allies. Nothing else matters in this mess. - Ralph Peters

Most conservative commentators have been urging President Obama to deploy more troops to Afghanistan, but at least I've got Ralph Peters for company in going the other way. It seems to me there's some fairly obvious reasons why the strategic blueprint for Iraq shouldn't be exported to Afghanistan.

The consequences of troop withdrawal much different in Afghanistan than Iraq. Iraq, for all its flaws has been a nation and a civilization for a long time. If that were going to cease being the case because of lack of American security, America would have been blamed. Maybe we could live with that (fwiw, I could). But, whoever survived the rat fight after we left would have won lots of money, personnel, and resources at their disposal for terrorism, ethnic cleansing, diplomatic intimidation, anti-American propaganda and the rest of it. So we really did have to finish the job there, especially when there was a readily available means to do it.

These things do not apply to Afghanistan. There are no hungry bands of jackal-terrorists waiting to terrorize the docile civilians as soon as the Yanks leave. If anything, they go to Afghanistan for sanctuary, to get away from everybody else in the world who doesn't like them either. And given that we do not need nation-building in Afghanistan (and with doubtful likelihood of being able to accomplish it), we should adjust our personnel requirements accordingly.

No comments: