Mr.Obama: Why delay troops to Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, where, “the security situation has deteriorated,” Obama’s new intelligence czar, Dennis Blair, told Congress. America faces a growing storm from militants spread across Asia, Africa and the Middle East – while the war in Iraq is virtually over, the nation’s top spy said Thursday.

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A doctor places the body of a man, killed after Taliban insurgents attacked government buildings, in the morgue in Kabul February 11, 2009.

 

 

 

He dismissed speculation that Osama Bin Laden’s goons are on the ropes, saying the U.S. is not “within sight of victory.” The facts as I know them are not that optimistic,” Blair told the Senate Intelligence Committee. Elsewhere, Islamic extremism is still gaining in Pakistan, Algeria, Somalia and Yemen.

The United States has put together a plan to send up to 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, which would double the US contingent fighting the Taliban-led insurgency along with NATO forces.

But the troops are awaiting a green light from the White House, which has “signaled it wants to look at the (strategy) reviews under way,” a senior military official said in Washington.

The US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan met key leaders in Islamabad Tuesday as part of a major US policy review aimed at turning around the war against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in South Asia.

General Petraeus’s comments, on the other hand, were greatly anticipated. He is widely credited for the improved security situation in Iraq, where he was the senior commander during the troop increase known as the surge. Expectations are running high that he can repeat the success of that strategy in Afghanistan.

General Petraeus spoke of the need for outposts and patrol bases in the provinces. “You can’t commute to work” when conducting counterinsurgency operations, he said Sunday. “A nuanced appreciation of local situations is essential” to understanding “the tribal structures, the power brokers, the good guys and the bad guys, local cultures and history,” he said.

“There has been nothing easy about Afghanistan,” said General Petraeus, adding that he “would be remiss if I did not ask individual countries to examine very closely what forces and other contributions they can provide” ahead of the elections in August. He said needs included not only ground forces but also an array of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, military police officers, special operations, cargo and attack helicopters and more. Mr. Obama is planning to send as many as 30,000 additional troops to try to turn the tide in the war against insurgents.

Some NATO allies have been slow to contribute additional forces.

In his comments, General Jones was critical of the effort to stabilize the country thus far. “The international coordination was spotty at best,” he said. “We tended to focus too much on the military reconstruction part, which was important but not the only thing that should have been done.”

The Americans were not alone in their calls for a more robust effort. Radek Sikorski, the foreign minister of Poland, called Afghanistan a test for NATO, and emphasized that the security situation had to improve immediately. “If this year we don’t turn the tide, it’s going to be much harder later on,” he said.

 

Pakistan’s continued in action against Islamic terrorism has been condemned all around the world, the beheading of Piotr Stanczak in Pakistan, it’s unwillingness to apprehend the perpetrators of 11/26 Mumbai carnage   has once again proved and the country’s strong opposition of US and NATO forces has had Islamabad’s relations with Washington, Kabul, Warsaw and New Delhi have been strained over accusations that Pakistan is not doing enough to eradicate Islamist “safe havens” on its territory. Pakistan’s continued oppression of ethnic Baluchi people has appalled all human rights organizations. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon , the US Europe and Russia should note that Pakistan has enslaved Balochistan politically, culturally and socially. But Baluchi people have rebelled against it over the years and this struggle continues even today.

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6 Comments

  1. Islam is a political ideology hell bent on exterminating and subjugating the “infidel”. Islami is pure satanic evil. Obama needs to act soon

  2. For some time now, a consensus has formed around the idea that Afghanistan, not Iraq, is both the “good war” and the real front against al Qa’eda. A growing chorus of leaders and professionals have lamented how a lack of attention, scarce resources, a faltering military strategy and a fanciful political approach have contributed to emboldening the Taliban and weakening the central government there. Now the fear is that the Taliban insurgency could once again turn Afghanistan into a terrorist haven and deal a deadly blow to South Asian stability, especially next door in Pakistan.

  3. The numbers back this dismal analysis. Violence in Afghanistan is at its highest level since the routing of the Taliban in 2001. The Taliban have embarked on a campaign of terror, throwing acid on girls attending schools and shooting workers on their way to the fields. There is also enormous discontent with foreign troops, perceived by the Afghan population as reckless occupiers. And the central government has lost much of its credibility because of massive incompetence and corruption.

    Navigating this tense situation is now the task of the new US President Barack Obama, who has made fixing Afghanistan a central element of his foreign policy. But just as Iraq turned out to be George W Bush’s undoing, Afghanistan, if mishandled, could be Mr Obama’s.

  4. Judging by his campaign promises, he is banking that a substantial increase of US and Nato troops in the country, a new counterinsurgency strategy, a regional approach that addresses the Pakistani aspect of the challenge and more sustained, better targeted development efforts would turn things around.

  5. The details of Mr Obama’s approach will clarify in the coming months, after policy reviews are conducted and his top envoy to the region Richard Holbrooke and his senior military brass make final recommendations. This will be a lengthy process. Yet time is not on Mr Obama’s side, and a prolonged sense of indecision can hurt his plans. Already Mr Gates has announced that he would delay a much-awaited decision to send 17,000 US soldiers to Afghanistan. These troops are needed to counter an expected spring offensive by the Taliban, and if the situation deteriorates considerably between now and the time these troops are ultimately deployed, Mr Obama’s strategy may prove utterly inadequate.

  6. Afghanistan is becoming a target from insurgents from Pakistan and Islamabad’s record in dealing with militants has been mixed as it navigates conflicting internal and counterterrorist priorities” — diplomatese for Islamabad’s palling around with terrorists.


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