Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Seems I'm Not Alone With Concerns About A Military Buildup In Afghanistan


Sunrise in Afghanistan

I've been expressing during News Talk Online on Paltalk.com my concerns about a possible buildup of U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan at a time when we don't really know the mission.

The United States initially invaded Afghanistan presumably to go after Osama bin Laden and his cronies - responsible for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. Since then, there's been mounting evidence that bin Laden may have fled into Pakistan. And the mission has changed. Most recently we were told the troops were there to ensure that the national election would take place (an election that's been tarnished with widespread allegations of fraud). And then we've been told that a poppy eradication program was underway.

Well that' s all well and good, but that's not the reason that was given to the American people when the troops were first deployed. This is starting to mirror the mess in Iraq under President Bush. He announced we were going in to get WMDs. Then changed the mission - several times - losing the support of the American people.

I've said on the show that Afghanistan threatens to become President Obama's Iraq because there is no clear, defined mission. His commanders on the ground are saying that if they're to defeat the Taliban, they need more assets. So we're at a crossroads right now. Do we send more troops in for a purpose unknown. Or do we just acknowledge that bin Laden has fled elsewhere and retreat?

I'm apparently not alone in these concerns. The McClatchey Newspapers are reporting that there are those in the military who are privately expressing the same uneasiness over the direction the nation may take in Afghanistan.

One thing's for certain. No matter which direction is taken, there has to be a clear and defined mission. We owe that to those who are put in harm's way and their families.

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Photo credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Adam Mancini

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I've said on the show that Afghanistan threatens to become President Obama's Iraq because there is no clear, defined mission. His commanders on the ground are saying that if they're to defeat the Taliban, they need more assets."

There's some people out there who think Obama is setting our men and women in Afghanistan up for failure and possible death. I'm not one of them.

And while people harp on the WMD thing (which we could debate forever, Gary) let's face it: there was more success in deposing Saddam than there has been in capturing Bin Laden.

Obama made two mistakes when he was campaigning. His first was in promising an immediate and swift retraction of troops from Iraq. Maybe he wanted to do it- but he wasn't privvy to enough information to make that promise and now people within his own party are viewing him as "Bush, continued."

The second mistake was in saying that he was going to "get Bin Laden".

For those who have never been to Afghanistan, the region does not lend itself to easy seek and detain measures.

For that matter, neither does Pakistan.

Personally I think Osama is running a 7-11 somewhere in Dearbornistan, but I digress.

Intentions do not weigh well after the campaign trail ends. I initially did not like the idea of us going into either place; and I liked even less the reasons given (I still contend that our reason for going into Iraq was to create an Islamic block preventing Iran from seizing power over Iraq and wedging its way into N. Africa and the coastal region.)

But our troops (including my son and two nephews) need our support of their mission, not only them as individuals.

So I didn't protest then, nor will I protest now. I may disagree with strategies and call into question our non-military leaders, as I did with Bush.

But one thing I am curious about has been the lack of reporting about the anti-war protest movement. Whatever happened to Cindy Sheehan and the Code-Pinkians?

-LD

Be that as it may,

Gary Baumgarten said...

Cindy Sheehan protested outside the president's vacation spot at Martha's Vineyard. She agreed to come on my show to talk about it - then decided she couldn't because of my support for Israel.

Anonymous said...

"Cindy Sheehan protested outside the president's vacation spot at Martha's Vineyard. She agreed to come on my show to talk about it - then decided she couldn't because of my support for Israel."

Gary, Sheehan was/is a nut. But her son died so that even a nut could express their opposition to the war- or Israel for that matter.

Thing is, there wasn't NEAR the coverage of her protesting Obama as there was her being outside the ranch at Crawford.

This is one of the problems with American media. They tend to selectively cover events which may prove embarassing to their "guy."

Though, Cindy is likely an embarassment to many people. I know the REAL Gold Star Moms made sure to distance themselves from her.

-LD