A Half-Hearted Afghanistan Strategy – by Michael Reagan


obama

As many of you will recall, in previous writings I urged President Obama to do the right thing when it came to providing Gen. McChrystal with his requested troop increases in support of the war effort in Afghanistan. And during the early debate over troop levels, I even accepted the president’s request for reasonable time to meet with his advisers to discuss all options available to obtaining military victory in Afghanistan.

I am pleased and encouraged to see that President Obama heeded the counsel of his generals on the matter of increased troop levels that are so critical to our continuing battle against terrorists and those who house and support them. He has called on us for unity and support, and that is how we should respond.

Sadly, we are already seeing many members of the president’s own political party take exception to an increase in troop levels — many pushing for a retreat from the fight against those who took the lives of so many innocent victims on September 11, 2001 and who are continually plotting for the next great attack against Americans on our home soil and/or abroad. How did so many Democrats forget that fateful day — a mere eight years ago?

The Taliban and Al Qaeda are now on notice that 30,000 more of America’s best and brightest military personnel are gearing up to take the fight against terror to the nearest town, village and even cave to track down and eradicate those who have done or desire to harm America and her interests.

But I do take exception to the fact that the Taliban and Al Qaeda have also woken up to news that this massive American military surge, one that will increase our troop levels to close to 100,000, already has a publicized end date.

Yes, that is correct. Our enemy has been put on notice by the president himself that by July 2011, we will begin pulling back our troop commitments in Afghanistan. What makes this date even more disconcerting is the fact that it will take us several months to implement the 30,000-troop influx that is so central to this new security offensive — hopefully in time for the often-called “Spring fighting season” there.

This means we will begin leaving just a year after all the troops arrive — but conveniently in advance of the beginning of the 2012 election season.

Now I am not a general or even a military historian, but it doesn’t seem to me that it makes any sense to let your enemy know when you are coming and when you plan to leave. All they should need to know is what you plan to do: win. And our troops on the ground need to have the confidence that these decisions and timelines are based on sound military principles rather than political calculation.

In his speech, President Obama had a golden opportunity to borrow a line from my father — one that would have brought the house down and instilled more confidence in the plan he appeared half-heartedly to support. All he had to do was announce: “We win — they lose.” But rather, the president’s message and demeanor presented more of a détente approach to American foreign policy, in a speech where he never once made victory our goal.

Gen. David Petraeus, leader of the Iraq surge and now head of U.S. Central Command, acknowledged after President Obama’s speech that there was “tension” between the desire to win the conflict and the desire to pull out quickly. Those desires are both real and understandable, but no one knows better than Gen. Petraeus how much meeting both can sometimes prove impossible.

Moving forward, the American people, Afghan President Karzai, and our NATO allies must now rise to the task before us. But even as I move to follow my president, I can only hope that it is this pattern, rather than political timelines, which he follows in the next two years.

To the men and women who now bravely go to serve, you have my deepest thanks, hopes, and prayers. You are the soul of this country, and your service will not go unmarked.

  • Proxywar

    Karzai wants to make a deal with the Taliban.

    Fuck him and that place.

    We need to kill Osama and his number 2 and then get the hell out of there.

  • Proxywar

    There was not one word in that speech about killing Osama bin laden or his number 2.

    That was the whole reason for going to war over there in the first place.

    I feel if we don't kill them two 4,000 soilders will have died for nothing.

    There will be no justice in my eyes.

  • keithrage

    Looking down through time honour and bravery will be attributed to the U.S forces, what a shame this president will never have either.

  • Steve

    You can't stay in Afghanistan for the rest of eternity. How many American dead do you want? The Taliban live there, so how are you going to defeat them? To “defeat them” you'd have to kill literally every living Afghani. No, rather bring the troops home and use them to secure American's own borders, airports, seaports, hydro-electric dams, nuclear powered plants, major bridges, and yes, even use them to keep a closer watch on mosques. America, you want to defeat the “Taliban”? Well, you've got plenty of them right within your borders to deal with! They're called radical American Muslims.

  • Robert Bernier

    Every American should know the truth

    No one should miss this video:

    http://xrl.us/bf29mb

    Look to the end ( 10 min.)

  • Robert Bernier

    Wow! Read this one. It is really good. And this gentleman says it just like it is.

    This venerable and much honored WW II vet is well known in Hawaii
    for his seventy-plus years of service to patriotic organizations and causes all over the country. A humble man without a political bone in his body, he has never spoken out before about a government official, until now. He dictated this letter to a friend, signed it and mailed it to the president. Consult : http://xrl.us/bgeewc

  • rogert

    BO is not passionate about anything so much as when he is speaking to muslims. American military is not really his concern, except for preventing them from hindering islam. His announcement about the massacre was an exercise in fumbling for words when you really don't care about the subject. His Veteran's Day speech was delivered with all of the enthusiasm of a politician at a rival's victory. Just a stack of words he didn't believe and didn't pay much attention to.

  • USMCSniper

    Trent Hickman from American Thinkers excerpt:

    Gen. McChrystal knows that if we protect the people of Afghanistan, then the people of Afghanistan will protect our soldiers on the ground. In order to protect the people, we need more troops. If the people of Afghanistan aid us in stabilizing the territory, then we can increase the number of trained Afghans who will in turn lend legitimacy to a struggling government. With a stable government in place and a force to legitimize its power base, we can then perhaps begin to disengage and get as close to winning as would be possible in low intensity conflict.

    But it all comes down to more US troops who are equipped with the skills necessary to safely and securely replace our own presence with local forces.

    In a democracy, it is the function of the citizenry to choose a leader, rather than a candidate. Mr. Obama has yet to learn the difference. Harried by polls and slipping support, he has forgotten that he was entrusted to make decisions in support of our interests, irrespective of public whim. He seems more afraid of not ending the war in time for his reelection bid than he is with wasting the lives of our men and women in uniform on a war he has no intention of winning. And that is why this non-leader never used the term “victory” because he doesn't really care if we lose the war. Obama is totally unfit to be Commander-On-Chief.

  • BS77

    Steve, the Taliban are feared and hated by many Afghanis…if you think the Taliban represented all the Afghan people, you are mistaken. The Taliban rule was one of the worst periods in modern Afghan history. Repression, torture and extortion were off the chart…women were stoned to death for daring to walk without a relative….children were forced to work like adults….no singing, dancing, radio, TV, laughter, kite flying or games were permitted. All education ended…just memorization of the Koran was permitted. There was no voting, nothing. The Taliban are a sickening medieval brutality that most Afghans found horrible. There is a large Afghan community in the US who hope for the day when Afghanistan will be a free nation, free of terrorist Taliban vermin and Al Queda thugs…..

  • bubba4

    Again, this stupid strawman that any timetable means that a some point all the Americans are just going to leave regardless of what is going on in the country.

    It's not reality and FPM knows it. Plus, if you are going to write an article about how Obama is screwing up in Afghanistan, why no mention of the pipeline and the poppy which is why we even care.

  • USMCSniper

    Do you have a tingle down your leg for the clandestine Muslim Marxist in the Oval Office? We will see how much leftist office mate of Weatherman Bill Ayers, President Barack Obama supports the troops and their mission in the next few months. Bet he is into the cut and run mode by 2011.

  • BS77

    You don't tell the enemy, "This is the date for our departure." No, what you tell them is what someone like Patton would tell them: "We will depart when the you, the enemy, is destroyed and eliminated." That's what you tell the lice infested buggers.

  • bearone7777

    Hello,
    With the “FOOLS” that are in power right now in Wacko D.C. I venture to say that if they had a visual on Osama Bin Laden they would not be able to kill him without first talking to two thousand lawyers, and a staff of extras to take notes on what to do, and of by the way the President himself would most likley get on the phone, and declare him innocent right then, and there. Lets face this we are not in a war for “OUR” very lifes anymore. We are in a war against “OUR” own—NAMELY THE FEDERAL GOV. THAT JUST DOES NOT GET IT. I personally do not care how you feel about him, but if Bush was still in power, and he-(BIN “IDIOT” LADEN)-Was found in Afghanistan he would give the order to kill on sight, and then leave it up to the vultures to take care of the mess afterwords. That is what I loved about his “COWBOY” diplomacy. “KILL FIRST THEN ASKED QUESTIONS LATER”. SHOULD BE THE WAY IT WORKS NOW. BUT SORRY THAT IS NOT WHAT THIS ADMINISTRATION IS ABOUT. AMERICA WHAT HAVE WE GOTTEN OURSELVES INTO?

    Thanks,
    Larry D. Crumbley
    bearone7777@yahoo.com

  • davidhorowitz

    How did so many Democrats forget the attack of eight years ago? Surely you jest – as Republicans shoved the propaganda lies of the mushroom cloud down the throats of Americans to support the shift in the war to Iraq. Bush/Cheney tortured people not to discover details of 'the next attack' on America, but to try to uncover (ie. fabricate) a putative link between 9/11 and Saddam. The result was six years of a forgotten Afghanistan, allowing the Taliban to reconstitute. If that's not pitiful enough, as a recent report shows (as if we needed confirmation), bin Laden was captured in Tora Bora, but Rumsfeld purposely pulled the net back. Why? Because if bin Laden were caught, Americans might not support a continued 'War on Terror'. It might be better if Reagan at least tell the truth, and remind us of the half-assed so-called 'strategy' in Afghanistan since 2003. Jeez…

  • BS77

    We will depart when you, the terror bugs, are destroyed and eliminated.” Let the Afghan people join the modern world, with human rights, more freedom and liberty, decent living standards, better work, sanitation standards, clean water, good food, being able to live without fear of the medieval barbarian Taliban beating them and taking their goods…for the children to be able to play, sing , laugh and attend school without oppression, violence and terror.

  • bubba4

    Um…ok..sure…that's what you think. Anyone surprised? Nope.

  • craigclose

    Michael Reagan you are an ass because you know nothing about war except what you hear in the News and the movies like your father starred in. War is not like Hollywood nor is it like the media. I know because I served two tours of duty in Vietnam from 1964 to 1966 Every war that we have been involved in siince the end of WW II in 1945 has been for the wrong reasons and trying to put in a dictator to run the country for the Multi-National Corporations and not only do the families and friends of Veterans suffer from these wars but the poor people of these countries suffer as well. In the last 64 years we have spent 116 years at war with the Koreans, Vietnamese, and the Iraqis and Afghan's. We started to support the war in Vietnam in 1945 when the first American Officer was killed in the OSS and went to 1975 which is a 30 year war. The Korean War is not over as of yet which has been going on since June 1950 which is 59 years and the we went to war with the Iraqis in 1990 and we have been at war since that date which is 19 years plus the 8 years we have been at war in Afghanistan. Lets face you are another Hawk sending our bright young men and women in Harms way into wars we cannot win when the reasons are clear to anyone whey we go to war in the first place. So far there during all these places I mention we went to war for all the wrong reasons that is why we cannot win these wars unless we kill everyone in those countries. Furthermore We are on a Debt Based Economy and the sooner we eliminate the Federal Reserve bank and there whole set-up the sooner we will be involved in Wars. Go Ton Congressman Ron Paul of Texas we site and he will explain it to you.

  • Name

    I understand Michael Reagen, and yes I understand the art of political war, but this is a time for Republicans to come to grips with reality:

    1. Obama concedes
    2. He is not only in the White House he controls the White house, ie: THE BRAIN OF THE UNITED friggin STATES of AMERICA, ie, not the money but the nerves.
    3. He has proven himself to be nothing more than a highly calculated individual, not highly cunning. If he really wanted to be a bastard, and trust me, Clinton proved this one, he could be. Just wait until private detectives try to get dirt on you. Trust me they come. That is going from America:Level 0 to America: Level 1.

    He has gone out of his way to bend over backwards for Republicans. Heck, year one was like PRIVATE SECTOR: FREE MONEY. Year two is like PUBLIC SECTOR: YOU ARE FAT HERE IS NOT A TREADMILL B/C WE KNOW YOU HATE THIS work, *heck, eventhough work is friggin AWESOME if you play it right, BUT HERE IS A FREE HOSPITAL ROOM WHERE YOU CAN DIE WITH FOOD AND FUN! YIPPEEEEEEEEE!

    Do you know what the Bush presidency did for us? Forget Sarah Palin 2012. Let's try just a run at only the states first to get the governors. The aughts are so like the 80s anyways.

    Get the governors.

    Then the Senate.

    Then the state senators.

    then the Congress.

    Keep Obama there. He's compliant. He gets local unions and trade if we get military. That's a fair deal the Pope would go for.

    …and give Dick Marcinko the military to make it all special ops of which we outsource to China not to spread “communism/democracy” but to simply “quell rebellion.”

    The chinese go first. They always go first. We will give them red suits so we can tell them apart, ya know, from us, the guys in black who always fight at night and leave?

    Yeah.

    Somehow that can be us for life.

    Make it happen Barak. Make it happen. I don't care if you start kidnapping white drug dealers, tatooing them brown, give them face lifts so they really look arab, and drop them in Iran with a friggin atom bomb to their backs.

    Here is a great way to get Natanz shut down:

    Bribe China

    Do said above to pc victim (IE Charles NG)

    Let China get their money and their people outta there.

    Blow up Natanz

    America says “Hey don't look at us. We invented it. We warned you it would happen.”

    China gets to build the sequel.

    America gets to REALLY blow something up.

    The END

    How's taht for 1001 Arabian Nights you circumsized bi-yatch!!!!

    Friggin cat house book was probably written by one of those Arab she-he's. You know it is part of the culture, God-Willing, which means not my fault! Now just wait until the engineering specifications come stamped “god willing” next time you are there to reload when we come for the children!

    Not for sex slaves, silly, WAR slaves. Some has to dig ditches, run computers, and build siege works. Beavis and Butthead, meet the Predator Air-Drone.

  • stevefromeerie

    I understand Michael Reagen, and yes I understand the art of political war, but this is a time for Republicans to come to grips with reality:

    1. Obama concedes
    2. He is not only in the White House he controls the White house, ie: THE BRAIN OF THE UNITED friggin STATES of AMERICA, ie, not the money but the nerves.
    3. He has proven himself to be nothing more than a highly calculated individual, not highly cunning. If he really wanted to be a bastard, and trust me, Clinton proved this one, he could be. Just wait until private detectives try to get dirt on you. Trust me they come. That is going from America:Level 0 to America: Level 1.

    He has gone out of his way to bend over backwards for Republicans. Heck, year one was like PRIVATE SECTOR: FREE MONEY. Year two is like PUBLIC SECTOR: YOU ARE FAT HERE IS NOT A TREADMILL B/C WE KNOW YOU HATE THIS work, *heck, eventhough work is friggin AWESOME if you play it right, BUT HERE IS A FREE HOSPITAL ROOM WHERE YOU CAN DIE WITH FOOD AND FUN! YIPPEEEEEEEEE!

    Do you know what the Bush presidency did for us? Forget Sarah Palin 2012. Let's try just a run at only the states first to get the governors. The aughts are so like the 80s anyways.

    Get the governors.

    Then the Senate.

    Then the state senators.

    then the Congress.

    Keep Obama there. He's compliant. He gets local unions and trade if we get military. That's a fair deal the Pope would go for.

    …and give Dick Marcinko the military to make it all special ops of which we outsource to China not to spread “communism/democracy” but to simply “quell rebellion.”

    The chinese go first. They always go first. We will give them red suits so we can tell them apart, ya know, from us, the guys in black who always fight at night and leave?

    Yeah.

    Somehow that can be us for life.

    Make it happen Barak. Make it happen. I don't care if you start kidnapping white drug dealers, tatooing them brown, give them face lifts so they really look arab, and drop them in Iran with a friggin atom bomb to their backs.

    Here is a great way to get Natanz shut down:

    Bribe China

    Do said above to pc victim (IE Charles NG)

    Let China get their money and their people outta there.

    Blow up Natanz

    America says “Hey don't look at us. We invented it. We warned you it would happen.”

    China gets to build the sequel.

    America gets to REALLY blow something up.

    The END

    How's taht for 1001 Arabian Nights you circumsized bi-yatch!!!!

    Friggin cat house book was probably written by one of those Arab she-he's. You know it is part of the culture, God-Willing, which means not my fault! Now just wait until the engineering specifications come stamped “god willing” next time you are there to reload when we come for the children!

    Not for sex slaves, silly, WAR slaves. Some has to dig ditches, run computers, and build siege works. Beavis and Butthead, meet the Predator Air-Drone.

  • stevefromeerie

    and who the fuck donated to wikipedia in honor of dick marcinko? You know what works for military men, and what they want in Iraq more than anything, anything than money

    a straight out, $250.00 old side by side shipped to an anonymous soldier by an anonymous citizen. No names involved please Here. Here is a good one if you got money and the corporate sponsorship:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atchisson_Assault_

    If you are hard up, here, this works as good. Hopefully they will get one or two, plus there assault rifle:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-barreled_sh

    It is nothing like seeing people you want to die storm over a barricade, weapons in hand to kill the good guys. Heck, for all you know your people are hamburger due to what amount to petty bag people and then:

    BLAM BLAM!

    run

    BLAM BLAM

    run

    BLAM BLAM

    run

    Those things will do to suicide bombers what that black hawk helicopter did to those intersection. Fuck people. Shotguns and snipers do to infantry regiments what jackhammers do to concrete. It does matter where you are, this strategy always works in war. Not run and gun, but trap and bait. Trap and bait with surgical precision.

  • coyote3

    Well you've got me beat by one tour. I don't know if that is something of an achievement, or red flag regarding sanity. I notice that you were relatively early on. Trust me, we, at least the 25th adapted much better by then.

    Notwithstanding, I would submit that even WWII and WWI were necessarily fought for the “right” reasons. Admittedly, there were some “right” reasons, but you should know that is not the way nations, even this nation, behave(s). Prior to WWI, we hitched out star to what was left of the British empire, and went to war to save them. We were not attacked by any of the Central Powers. Granted there were losses of Americans on ships, but out territory was not attacked. We were certainly attacked during WWII, but there was a lot more to that than was apparent, and by that time the “paper hanger” had lost it. We went to war, again, in large measure, again, to save the British. We did not give one wit about the atrocities the “paper hanger” was indulging himself in, and had the Japanese not done something stupid, we might never have been involved. I had parents who were around, and they said that not everyone was behind our support of the British, but when Pearl Harbor was attacked that pushed things over the edge. We went to war because of our interests pure and simple.

  • USMCSniper

    Quite a rant, hmmmm…. you gotta stop drinking those energy drinks!

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