PRESIDENT OBAMA'S PLAN.
Should Our Troops come home?
The drawdown of troops in the Afghan theater by President Barack Obama seemed plausible to many military experts; and some were even saying that he went beyond the recommendations of General David Petraeus, who had monitored the war in Afghanistan in his capacity as head of the coalition forces there.
The troops withdrawal would allow 10,000 men and women in uniform to return home at the end of 2011; and then the rest of the surge in 2009, comprising of 30,000 troops, would follow suit by the Summer of 2014, to conclude the United States military involvement in Afghanistan.
Some Republican lawmakers were claiming that the plan was too expeditious, and it placed American forces engaged in that war at risk.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in the nomination hearing of Marine Lt. Gen. John Allen before the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the proposed withdrawal was not an option presented to the president. He had gone beyond the options given him by his advisers on the ground and in the White House; he Lindsey had remarked at the hearings.
Lt. Gen John Allen who was to replace Gen Patraeus in Afghanistan answered in a statement that the president's plan was "more aggressive", than they had expected; thus repeating what many experts, including Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had said at previous or other committee hearings.
Sen. Graham meant to hold President Obama's feet to the fire for making the plan to be too drastic and extremely conclusive, and that would give the Taliban insurgents an idea that the American forces would leave in a short span of time. That would bolster their recruiting efforts.
However, many people thought that it was a bold step to bring the troops home; and that the decision was made in the best interest of the troops themselves. They have done their part in curbing the aggression of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists. They have also trained the Afghanistan security forces to a point, where they could take over, in terms of fighting off the aggressors.
Hostilities have minimized, and some factions of the Taliban were even getting into some kind of a cooperative mood, and signaling for peace with the Afghan government.
Besides, U.S. military forces could not remain in Afghanistan indefinitely; and that the Obama administration has made sure that more training and equipment would be supplied, when that was required. There would be some units left behind for the purpose of farther training, and as support troops or back up for the Afghan security forces, whenever that became necessary.
Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, has said that his forces were ready, able and willing to defend and protect his country's borders to ensure its sovereignty and independence. He has emphasized that statement on numerous occasions.
In the light of yesterday's brazen terrorists attack on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel, there was the certainty, however slight, that the Afghans could hold their own in emergencies such as that one.
The Afghan Special Police Forces led the fight against the insurgents; proving that the ANSF (the national forces) were or would be ready in time to take up the responsibility of holding off the Taliban insurgency and making that part of the world safe, if not safer.
U.S. troops could then come home to their families and friends without any query. That idea should not be far fetched, as it has been etched in the minds of many Americans, who were waiting for husbands, wives, sons and daughters to return home from the war.
Welcome home, men and women in uniform.