December 6, 2009

J.D. JOHANNES: “I just returned from Iraq and people have started asking me what I think of the Afghan Surge. (I spent some time in Afghanistan this Summer.) The Afghan Surge can work if Battalion Commanders on the ground fight the war correctly and if it lasts longer than one troop rotation. As of this morning I am lacking in confidence on both counts.”

UPDATE: Related thoughts. “President Obama is in pretty much the same position as President Nixon found himself in 1969 and 1970. If he continues to fight in Afghanistan, he really can’t allow the enemy to have a safe haven in Pakistan.” It’s certainly true that Pakistan is the real problem here. If Pakistan were in good order, Afghanistan would be much easier; without fixing Pakistan, it’s much harder. But Pakistan is very hard to fix.

Of course, Barack Obama has been talking about sending troops into Pakistan for a long time: “Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, has said that he would send troops into Pakistan to hunt down terrorists, a week after chief rival Hillary Clinton described his foreign policy skills as naive. The senator warned Pakistani President Gen Pervez Musharraf that, under an Obama presidency, he would have to do more to shut down terrorist operations in his country and evict foreign fighters or risk a US troop invasion and losing hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid.”

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