Here,Neoconservative writer, Max Boot,argues that we must surge in Afghanistan and that doing anything else merely empowers the jihadists.
Here’s why he’s wrong:
Boot states: “Even after 9/11 we still stuck to a minimalist approach. Recall the failure to capture Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora because we wouldn’t commit enough American troops. As recently as 2008 there were only two U.S. Brigade Combat Teams in the entire country (a brigade has roughly 4,000 soldiers), compared to 20 in Iraq at the height of the surge.”
The result? No attacks on US soil.
Boot again: “They will then use these bases not only to try to topple the governments in Kabul and Islamabad but also to stage international acts of terrorism. It would be the biggest victory for the jihadists since the Red Army marched out of Afghanistan and the biggest defeat for the U.S. since Vietnam.”
Common, Max. The Soviets suffered 50,000+ causualties and all right at a time when their economy was utterly collapsing. America lost 48,000 lives in Vietnam and watched the Noth Vietnamese immeditely crush South Vietnam when we pulled out. That won’t happen. Not even close.
“Until now international forces and their Afghan partners have lacked the will and resources to implement a classic counterinsurgency plan designed to secure the populace.”
Not true. General McChrystal’s original plan was to implement a sound counterinsurgency plan. So far, it is not working. Now he wants more troops. Why didn’t he ask for the in the first place? Because few people want to admit how hard this will be and that it’s simply different from Iraq.
“If there is any wavering in our commitment to Afghanistan, officials in Pakistan will take that as confirmation that their old strategy of cutting deals with Islamic militants is more necessary than ever. That means that the Taliban and related groups, which have been on the defensive lately following a Pakistani army offensive, will be more secure than ever in their sanctuaries. They will then use these bases not only to try to topple the governments in Kabul and Islamabad but also to stage international acts of terrorism.”
Nope again, Max. Pakistan has a very potent military, capable of giving India a run. The Taliban is no match. It was only a matter of concentration and letting go of Pakistan’s obsession with India fr a year or two. They did this and are easily defeating the Taliban. Had they waited longer, yes, the Taliban could have taken the country, especially if Islamic radicals in the populatuion became energized. The Pak army moved at the right time though.
Boot fails to argue convincingly as to how Afghanistan threatened US security anymore than say, Indonesia or the Philippines.