Skip to comments.EDITORIAL: How to win a war
Posted on 09/23/2009 6:20:00 PM PDT by Saije
A U.S. president is engaged in an unpopular long-term counterinsurgency effort, ground commanders are asking for more troops, a skeptical Congress is pushing back. Haven't we been here before?
In the spring of 1968, the Vietnamese communists were on the run in the wake of the failed Tet Offensive. Gen... Westmoreland, the U.S. commander in Vietnam, urgently requested a surge capability to exploit the allied victory, hammer the enemy troops and potentially end the war. But President Lyndon B. Johnson, harried by leadership challenges from within his own party and facing a recalcitrant Congress, failed to act decisively.
For weeks, Mr. Johnson dithered, commissioned studies, held meetings and sought advice. Meanwhile, a leaked report about the proposed troop buildup was spun as evidence of a U.S. defeat in Tet. The opportunity passed. Rather than lead, Mr. Johnson defaulted. Rather than push for victory, he asked the enemy for negotiations...
In January 2007, President George W. Bush faced a much more difficult challenge. The situation in Iraq had vastly deteriorated. Casualties were increasing. His public approval rating was 28 percent, according to a CBS News poll, and around two-thirds of Americans opposed the war. Mr. Bush also had to contend with a freshly elected Democratic Congress that claimed an antiwar mandate.
Mr. Bush knew he had one last chance to pull out a victory. He appointed Gen. David H. Petraeus, architect of the latest counterinsurgency doctrine, to command Multi-National Force - Iraq. Gen. Petraeus implemented the strategy that has become known as the "surge," which was a comprehensive shift in the conduct of the war...
Now Mr. Obama faces a pivotal moment...
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
The One is facing a tough decision. Whether to cut, or to run? It’s a hard, hard choice, and it’s gonna take him some time to work it out.
President Bush bet everything on victory in Iraq. He used all available political capital on staying the course when fainter hearts wanted to cut and run.
Like LBJ, Obozo has a hugely ambitious domestic agenda-- this is where he wants to spend his political capital. And he will, like LBJ, give the unpopular war short shrift.
What disappoints me even more is the "buy-in" by even guys like Ralph Peters to the trial balloon about having our guys stay on big bases and conduct selective strikes on terror targets and then hope that the Afghan Army pulls it together with our advisors. Doesn't this sound like the much criticized Rumsfeld-Casey approach in Iraq? And guys like Peters want to give up on nation-building. And that means by default our friendly Afghans will lose. How secure will our bases be if the surrounding countryside is owned by the enemy?
Here’s a better idea:
A key difference between Nam and Trashcanistan/Iraq is that, so far as I can determine, the North Vietnamese DID NOT WANT ALL AMERICANS DEAD.
The muslims nutjobs in the Middle East DO and thousands of them have dedicated themselves to that end.
...meanwhile our fighting men and women overseas do not have the luxury of..."taking time to work it out"...we know Obama has said he doesn't like the "Victory" word.
If he is not willing to listen to his own general's request for 40,000 troops (MOL) and instead listening to Hillary Clinton--Whoa!!
[The Hillary Clinton named by her mother after the mountain climber and bee keeper, Edmund Hillary; even though Sir Ed was not famous til 6 years after Hillary was born).
Lies, deceptions become so "au naturel".
Point being, we did not get him. Afghanistan has proven ungovernable. It was crazytown when Alexander the Great rolled through and it will be the same 5,000 years from now. It's not worth our brave lads blood, especially under this administration, to try and form a Jeffersonian democracy in that hole. Bring 'em home-other than a FOB. There's no shame in it. The guy slipped away. We'll get him.
Afghanistan is not about bin Laden.
It is about denying radical Islam a base; and, above all, denying it a huge victorya victory which would be used by Islamists to proclaim that Allah is on their sideand from this, going on to renew attacks and wars all over the world.
Remember well that in Pakistan are nuclear weapons which are in proximity for radical Islamists to seize. And they will seizeand distributethese WMD’s if they are not defeated in adjacent Afghanistan before turning full attention and strength on Pakistan.
“It is about denying radical Islam a base;”
Really? Explain the US support of Kosovo, then? That established a base for Al Qaeda in Europe. We aren’t denying radical Islam a base by supporting the Palestinians and Saudis either. You see, there is no “radical Islam” as somehow a separate thing apart from Islam. The entire religion is “radical”. Which is why it is a massive mistake to allow the constitution of Afghanistan to say what it does.
The idea of retreating or leaving makes my blood boil. I could convincingly make the argument that this is merely a continuation of a 1300 year old war, that we are the first that are capable of finishing once and for all, and it is needed. Think overwhelming victory, deportation, containment in a limited geographical area, and no fly zones. (I can't go as far as genocide). The problem is we (the West, not conservatives) do not have the will to do what is required. It will prove our undoing.