SECRETARY GATES & A "SWIFT" DECISION
the ball is in your court.
The wait for President Obama to decide on troop increase in Afghanistan has been nerve racking for many GOP leaders; and rightfully so, the more the delay, the greater risk there would be for the counterinsurgency plan to be ineffective, as Gen. Stanley MaChrystal had said previously in his report, that the war was more complicated than any other, with the chief heads of the insurgency being in Pakistan, and Iran's Qods Force training and arming the Taliban.
Al Qaeda and "associated movements (AQAM) based in Pakistan channel foreign fighters, suicide bombers, and technical assistance into Afghanistan", says the Washington Post, which has leaked an unclassified version of the generals report on Afghanistan, a 66 page document to the Obama administration for review. (Retrieved 11/19/09, Web site, http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2009/09/general_mccrystals_report_on_a.php).
The headline in the media, "Gates Says Afghan Surge Could Happen Swiftly", makes interesting reading, since many people have anticipated that to agree to the request of the generals on the ground, a decision must be swift to ensure the cohesiveness of their plan, as experience in logistics of troop movement has shown that there are numerous adjustments to be considered in the process, and therefore, time is of the essence.
In a news conference at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Robert Gates had said, "any new U.S. forces President Barack Obama sends to Afghanistan could move into the country swiftly, despite logistical hassles that force almost all major deliveries of troops and supplies to go by air."
Must therefore the president continue to procrastinate for another two weeks as being reported at that same news conference, which also featured Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen, indicating the gravity of the Afghan situation? It was a heavy burden on the military, and as the Chairman said; it should not be carried out by just the U.S. armed forces.
He, Adm. Mullen, had said to a military audience earlier on Thursday that, "the administration and military have been engaged in a "healthy debate" on what to do in Afghanistan that goes beyond troop levels." "This isn't all just about the military. This isn't all just about the number of troops because we can't do it alone"; and besides providing security in Afghanistan, "we have to have a development plan. We have to have a governance plan that goes hand-in-glove as we go forward," he had added.
Inspite of the many obstacles that some liberal House Democrats opposing a hefty troop increase are placing in Mr. Obama's way, he must endeavor to make the decision "swiftly", for the generals and their soldiers to have the advantage they strategically need to overcome the Taliban. That is the assignment they have been given to accomplish and therefore the president's decision, to increase or not increase troop levels must be expedited, no matter what.
Yet, as Gen MaChrystal has stated in his report, they (he and his soldiers) are "under-resourced", and the general public supports an increase to the Afghan war front; so, over to you, President Obama.