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THE GENERAL VERSUS THE GENERAL

Updated on October 5, 2009

decision or no decision, that....

The tug-of-war that is going on in the United States now is quite obvious; with the top troop commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal saying that more troops are needed for the war effort, on the one hand, and National Security Adviser Jim Jones somehow quipping that, "I don't foresee the return of the Taliban. Afghanistan is not in imminent danger of falling," on the other.

The Sunday news programs were divided as well, leaving no room for error of "either you do or you don't" for President Obama; and therefore there was no doubt that the White House was in a quandary, to say the least. 

However, the commitment to root out the insurgency was still at the top of the list, as the public has been led to believe by the numerous statements of the president. His administration's desire was to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda by all means.

Yet, in war, there should not be any waiting; and the time that was elapsing between now and when a decision would be made, one way or another, was very critical. If it was decided for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan, it would take at least four to five months to have them on the ground; while, if other strategies that were being developed to remedy the situation, would come at the appropriate period for the administration to see any tangible results that those strategies were working to benefit the general and the troops fighting the Afghan war, was also debatable if not questionable. In other words, there was no assurance of that happening.

Eight soldiers were killed on Saturday morning, when a pair of remote outposts were attacked by militant fighters streaming from an Afghan village and a mosque; and surely that was not a factor to support the assumption by Gen. Jim Jones that Afghanistan was not in imminent danger of the Taliban. The other general (McChrystal) was comparing the war with the game of football and said in a speech to the IISS in London, in effect, that it was easy to look at the scoreboard in a game, but it was not at all easy to view statistics that favored the other side in a war.

Every minute should count; every attack should be looked on as the enemy becoming bold every passing day, and being able to offset the progress of advances made by the U.S. soldiers; and every U.S. soldier's life lost must be felt in hearts of all Americans. There should therefore be no holdup in the decision making process of the Obama government to get the Afghanistan issue resolved. 

Time was what nobody had; definitely not the general, and not the national security adviser, and certainly, not the president. A decision should be imminent rather than a delay. A decision on the war on terror should even be more imminent.


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