September 1, 2009
Day 224... and Yep, You Guessed It
All right, here we go; from Reuters, anent Afghanistan:
U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal said the situation was "serious" but the 8-year-old war could still be won. He gave no indication if he would ask for more troops but is widely expected to do so in the coming weeks.
With U.S. and NATO casualties at record levels in Afghanistan and doubts growing about the war in the United States and other NATO nations, McChrystal is under pressure to reverse Western fortunes within months....
"While there's a lot of gloom and doom going around ... I think we have some assets in place and some developments that hold promise," [Secretary of Defense Robert] Gates said on a visit to a Lockheed Martin factory building F-35 fighter jets in Fort Worth, Texas.
And now, the punchline:
The White House sought on Monday to pin the blame for the grave state of the war in Afghanistan on the Bush administration, which made Iraq its top military priority.
"This was underresourced, underfunded, undermanned and ignored for years," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
Oddly, during those years of underresourcing (when did "resource" become a verb?), undermanning, and ignorance, Afghanistan was a much more peaceful, anti-Taliban, and pro-American country. But after just eight months of Barack H. Obama, the "bellman," as Commander in Chief... well, everything is going to hell in a hambone.
But Col. David Kilcullen, Gen. David Petraeus' top counterinsurgency aide back when Petraeus was Commander of the Multinational Force in Iraq, has a very different take on the failings:
A top counterinsurgency expert said on Monday Afghanistan's government must fight corruption and quickly deliver services to Afghans because Taliban militants were filling gaps and winning support.
"A government that is losing to a counter-insurgency [sic] isn't being outfought, it is being out-governed. And that's what's happening in Afghanistan," David Kilcullen, a senior adviser to McChrystal, told Australia's National Press Club.
So we're not talking about some failed Bush military policy in Afghanistan after all; according to Col. Kilcullen, it's not the boots on the ground that are failing... it's the suits on the ground, led by U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Lt.Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry -- named to the position by Obama nine days after the new president was sworn in.
This is not a Bush holdover, like Defense Secretary Gates; Eikenberry is an Obama man. Curiously, however, while Eikenberry has extensive military experience in Afghanistan -- including as Commander of the Combined Forces Command -- all of his political training and focus appears to have been aimed at making him an expert on China, not Afghanistan: the Hong Kong Chinese Language School (run by Great Britain's Ministry of Defense), thence Nanjing University, and "an advanced degree in Chinese History."
So far as I can see, Eikenberry had no experience as an ambassador or in the State Department -- or in politics at all, other than commanding troops of various nationalities -- before Obama named the student of Chinese history and language Ambassador to Afghanistan, one of the key positions in the war against the Iran/al-Qaeda axis. Hey, what could go wrong?
Doesn't matter; whatever it is, it's all George W. Bush's fault. (And Yngvi is still a louse!)
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 1, 2009, at the time of 1:39 AM
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