The original gangsta Vulcan, the ever avuncular popular Regime Changin' rowdy ex Def Sec Donald Rumsfeld (and still hot! for an ancient cat - maybe it's all those superior hand gestures he's mastered over the years) reminds Great Satan, her friends, frienimes and oath sworn enemies that the urge to Surge in Afghanistan, Talibanistan and Pakistan is the way forward.
"The way forward in Afghanistan will need to reflect the current
circumstances there — not the circumstances in Iraq two years ago. Additional troops in Afghanistan may be necessary, but they will not, by themselves, be sufficient to lead to the results we saw in Iraq. A similar confluence of events that contributed to success in Iraq does not appear to exist in Afghanistan.
What’s needed in Afghanistan is an Afghan solution, just as Iraqi
solutions have contributed so fundamentally to progress in Iraq. And a surge, if it is to be successful, will need to be an Afghan surge.
Left unanswered in the current debate is the critical question of
how thousands of additional American troops might actually bring long-term stability to Afghanistan — a country 80,000 square miles larger than Iraq yet with security forces just one-fourth the size of Iraq’s. Afghanistan also lacks Iraq’s oil and other economic advantages.
It is plagued by the narcotics trade. Its borders are threatened by
terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan. Fractured groups of Pashtun tribesmen on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border do not yet appear willing to unite and take on the insurgents in their midst, as Arab tribes did in Iraq.
To do this, the size of the Afghan National Army will need to be
increased well beyond its 70,000 or so troops and its training accelerated. More American forces will need to undertake the unglamorous work of embedding with Afghan soldiers as advisers, living and fighting together. Kingpins and senior facilitators in the thriving poppy industry that helps to fuel the insurgency will need to be treated as military targets, as Qaeda and Taliban leaders are.
Reconstruction projects should be focused on provinces and towns
that are cooperating with the Afghan government, instead of making blanket commitments to increase foreign assistance across Afghanistan and possibly fostering a culture of dependence.
The current suggestion of “opening negotiations” with the Taliban may
well win over some low- and mid-level supporters, but if history is any guide, offering the hand of peace to hardened fanatics is not likely to prove successful. Aggressive action against Taliban and Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan will need to continue.
Pakistani officials will have to isolate any factions in their military and intelligence services that are sympathetic to the Taliban. "
"The singular trait of the American way of war is the remarkable
ability of our military to advance, absorb setbacks, adapt and ultimately triumph based upon the unique circumstances of a given campaign."
Thus it has been throughout our history. And thus it will be in
Iraq and Afghanistan, if we have the patience and wisdom to learn from our successes, and if our leaders have the wherewithal to persevere even when it is not popular to do so."