Leslie Gelb At The Daily Beast: ‘The Secret Details Of Obama’s Afghan Plan’

Full post here.

On the ‘secret details’ of what will likely be the new Obama plan:

“His goal up to now has been to “defeat” al Qaeda. The new mission: to “dismantle and degrade” the terrorists.”

So he’s sending 30,000 to 36,000 new troops over the next year, with maybe up to 10,000 after that…which is close to what McChrystal wanted…

“The strategy to govern the employment of these forces, Mr. Obama is expected to say, will be much like the counterinsurgency approach he originally approved back in March—the approach McChrystal reaffirmed in his recent “secret” leaked report. That means clearing areas and holding them with military force, followed by civilian and economic programs.”

Half-hearted compromise…a pragmatic, well-considered strategic re-allignment?  And what about Pakistan?:

“It’s unclear at the moment just how tough Obama will be with Pakistan. In effect, Islamabad has provided a safe haven for Afghan Taliban for more than a decade as a hedge against Indian encroachments into Afghanistan.”

We do know that the Karzai government is badly corrupt.  We know it’s likely that any Afghan government would likely have to overcome many, many hurdles (including the long process of education and peace enough for economic development, a war-torn infrastructure) to overcome that corruption.  At the end of the day what the Afghans chose (despite all the mitigating factors, which are many, and whose lives our choices affect) will be up to them.

It’s reasonable to have concerns about sending more troops, and wonder how to use force judiciously.

We also know that there are some followers of Islam who are willing to plan, plot and carry out violent, terror attacks in the name of their cause and their religion.  They are part of a loosely affiliated global network, which can take the discontent of young Muslims in Muslim countries and some in the West ( and there are many peace loving Muslims who find themselves with nothing but difficult choices…and do not follow this path) and lash out against real and perceived injustices.

Feel free to comment and highlight my ignorance.

Related On This Site:  From Bloomberg: More Troops To Afghanistan? A Memo From Henry Kissinger To Gerald Ford?From The NY Times Video: ‘A Schoolgirl’s Odyssey’From The WSJ: Graham, Lieberman and McCain “Only Decisive Force Can Prevail In AfghanistanFrom Commonweal: Andrew Bacevich “The War We Can’t Win: Afghanistan And The Limits Of American Power”

See Also:  Philip Bobbitt Discusses His Book ‘Terror And Consent’ On Bloggingheads

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