Afghanistan, the only place we needed to get right after 9/11, where there were al Qaeda, the same al Qaeda that brought us 9/11, where Osama bin Laden was, is going to hell, and our soldiers are gonna pay the price, thanks to the disasterous adventure in Iraq.
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Tuesday he wants to extend the combat tours of 1,200 soldiers amid rising violence, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he was “strongly inclined” to recommend a troop increase to President Bush if commanders believe it is needed.
Gates also said Pakistan must act to stem an increasing flow of Taliban fighters into Afghanistan as U.S. military officials cited new evidence that the Pakistani military, which has long-standing ties to the Taliban movement, has turned a blind eye to the incursions.
The prospect of a troop increase in Afghanistan, at the same time Bush is ordering 21,500 more troops into Iraq, raises new questions about the military’s ability to sustain its war-fighting on two major fronts. There now are about 24,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, the senior American commander here, said is the highest since the war began in October 2001.
A familiar story? Just check out the NY Times, it gets eerily similar to the mess in Iraq:
Officials also said the Bush administration was planning to double its aid to Afghanistan for training security forces and reconstruction this year in an effort to quell an insurgency that military officials here said Tuesday showed few signs of abating.
The senior American commander, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, told reporters after a meeting with Mr. Gates that he was “hopeful” that the Bush administration would back a much larger aid package for training Afghanistan security forces and for reconstruction projects.
Pakistan has basically given up on anything serious regarding bin Laden or al Qaeda. The opium poppy production is huge. Karzai probably controls only the area immediately around Kabul. How about some more “consulting,” Mr. President?