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Soviets' Afghan Ordeal Vexed Gates on Troop-Surge Plan

Posted on 11/27/2009 6:45:25 AM PST by BGHater

The future of the war in Afghanistan was on the line as Gen. Stanley McChrystal met with Defense Secretary Robert Gates in a secret rendezvous at a Belgian airbase in August.

Gen. McChrystal, the top Western commander in Afghanistan, pushed for more U.S. troops to roll back the spreading Taliban-led insurgency. Mr. Gates, officials say, was skeptical.

A quarter-century ago, he was a top Central Intelligence Agency officer aiding the anti-Soviet rebels in Afghanistan, and he remembered how a 1985 decision by the Soviet Union to widen that earlier war had failed to turn the tide.

In a speech to the nation Tuesday from West Point, President Barack Obama will announce his decision on a request by Gen. McChrystal for 40,000 more U.S. troops, to join some 100,000 Western soldiers already here. Washington is also prodding reluctant allies to send as many as 10,000 additional soldiers.

Debate inside the Obama administration on the troop increase has been intense, with Vice President Joe Biden cold to Gen. McChrystal's request and the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan warning that such a surge would lessen pressure on the Kabul government to take over its own security. Mr. Gates's stance became a crucial factor in these deliberations. After initially challenging Gen. McChrystal to persuade him the result wouldn't mirror the Soviets' experience, the defense secretary is now backing a compromise of some 30,000 to 35,000 additional U.S. troops, close to the number likely to be endorsed by Mr. Obama.

Few American officials know the Soviets' bitter Afghan predicament better than Mr. Gates. In the 1980s, he was the deputy director of the CIA, overseeing a massive U.S. effort to fund, train and equip the Islamic insurgents, called mujahedeen, who fought the Soviet army to a standstill.

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TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; nationbuilding; soviet; surge

1 posted on 11/27/2009 6:45:26 AM PST by BGHater
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To: BGHater


2 posted on 11/27/2009 6:54:45 AM PST by lookout88 (.combat rescue officer's dad,)
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To: BGHater

I watched Robert Gates on 60 Minutes a while ago and I was impressed. He is the only Bush holdover and I thought he might bring some sanity to the O amateurs that have control of the military. He particularly impressed me with his sermon on how dedicated he is to the troops and their safety was his utmost concern.

He has proven to be another phony gasbag. If he cared for the troops as he contends, he would resign. The rules of engagement have made fighting the war in Afghanistan a fraud. Soldiers are being criminally prosecuted for conduct that is consistent with war. The final straw is his silence over the trial of the 911 murderers in NYC.

Resign Gates you coward!

3 posted on 11/27/2009 6:55:06 AM PST by nj patriot (Gore is beyond help.... Snakes in the head.)
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To: BGHater

equating the USA to the Soviets is just BAD analysis

Karzai was not installed by executing the Russian ambassador

We are not using our troops as a scorched earth invasion force, to blast and steamroll Afghan villages and mine the Afghan countryside, using helicopters to drop mines disguised as toys to maim Afghan children

4 posted on 11/27/2009 6:58:24 AM PST by silverleaf (Ours is the only country on earth with a ventriloquist dummy for President)
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To: silverleaf
Soviet Union and American Union are both empires.

Both empires were ruled by Communists.

Both empires had their demographics change rapidly.

Both empires were facing grave economic crisis.

Both empires were mired in Afghanistan.

So what's the next thing to happen?

5 posted on 11/27/2009 7:04:39 AM PST by MinorityRepublican
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To: BGHater

One forgets that even in ‘85 the Soviet military was sent to Afghanistan with guns and no butter and basically spent a great deal of time scavenging for food (mostly from the Afghanis).

6 posted on 11/27/2009 7:07:11 AM PST by JohnLongIsland
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