Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's the Strategy; Stupid!

The last few weeks has been somewhat lacking generally propagated Intelligence reports on the progress in Afghanistan. Low quantity intel reports would usually suggest a lull in the AO but there seems to be enough coming out to indicate that isn't the case. At the same time, there has been more chatter coming from the White House about the future of the operation in Afghanistan and that, on the heels of President Obama's speech lauding the 'end of combat operations' in Iraq. From the story:

"Next August, we will begin a transition to Afghan responsibility. The pace of our troop reductions will be determined by conditions on the ground, and our support for Afghanistan will endure. But make no mistake: this transition will begin – because open-ended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people’s."

I'm not sure what you could do to cause more damage to our efforts in any war than to give the enemy specific information indicating the limits of our resolve. This President has made repeated concessions to the Taliban. How? By saying that they should be part of the solution by becoming part of the governance in Afghanistan. Wasn't that what we had when we first entered that country? A theocracy punishing it's people and led by the Taliban. Wasn't it the Taliban who 'invited' Al Qaida and gave them health and comfort and a place to train and plan attacks to kill American citizens?

The vast majority of stories coming from DC and abroad these days amount to 'greasing the skids' for the next Presidential election cycle. For those who may have missed the point of the '2011' pullout from Afghanistan that Obama was touting during his campaign in '08, it was clearly an indication of the focus of his heart; Obama 2012. The suggestion that anyone, much less an individual with zero experience in foreign policy, could tell three years out that a war would be nearing an end is ludicrous. That a significant portion of the population seemed to find that reasonable, is laughable. That those same elements still think it reasonable to read those same tea leaves, two years later, is scary.

Of course the main points are still not discussed and the general lack of understanding of this enemy from a historical or current day perspective is as troubling as ever. General Paul Vallely made yet another attempt to educate those lacking understanding and I urge all to read his thoughts here.

Again, the discussion revolves around the question of use of force and whether or not the United States military is to be used as an international force or one whose sole purpose is to safeguard the United States and it's citizenry. It is also about whether or not we still possess the moral will to use that force to hold an enemy accountable for actions it may have taken against us. To date; the focus is still safeguarding Afghan civilians - at all costs. This of course brings into question the legitimacy of any comments from the White House suggesting that the government in Kabul is near ready to assume defense of it's own interests much less prepared to continue it's battle against the 'insurgency'.

Each country should be willing and prepared - as it's citizenry should be, to defend itself from rogue elements determined to undermine it's sovereignty or the safety of the people. It is not our responsibility as Americans to spill the blood of our youth in an attempt to secure for the Afghans what they seem unwilling to do for themselves. It is our responsibility to bring to justice those who continue to plot our destruction; a destruction, by the way, demanded by their religion and their deity.

So the question remains; will the American people choose a different course than the one plotted by this President and initiated by the last one or will we, as a people, declare once again, that we are first committed to wholly American concerns. Will we, as a people, select from among out number, representatives without the tarnish of prior political entanglement who understand what should be commonly known to all men. Will we choose, as a people, to recognize our national interests as the singular priority of our military and let them fight the war we have set before them, kill the enemy who would kill us and then let them come home victorious? Or will we continue to tolerate a political institution and an upper military structure that refuses to accept their constitutional duty to protect these shores uniquely, our people and our Warriors, regardless of the cost to others remembering that this war was thrust upon us.

This election cycle in November will answer those questions and will hopefully motivate the White House and the General staff to do what is right instead of what is politically convenient or internationally palatable. Our Warriors deserve that little bit and our Constitution requires it!

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard

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