Monday, November 2, 2009

US to Support Karzai

In the wake of the withdrawal of Abdullah from Afghanistan’s corrupt election, the Bush/GOP puppet from Unocal, Hamid Karzai has become the de facto victor.

karzai With the White House’s reluctant embrace on Sunday of Hamid Karzai as the winner of Afghanistan’s suddenly moot presidential runoff, President Obama now faces a new complication: enabling a badly tarnished partner to regain enough legitimacy to help the United States find the way out of an eight-year-old war.

It will not be easy. As the evidence mounted in late summer that Mr. Karzai’s forces had sought to win re-election through widespread fraud to defeat his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, administration officials made no secret of their disgust. How do you consider sending tens of thousands of additional American troops, they asked in meetings in the White House, to prop up an Afghan government regarded as illegitimate by many of its own people?

The answer was supposed to be a runoff election. Now, administration officials argue that Mr. Karzai will have to regain that legitimacy by changing the way he governs, at a moment when he is politically weaker than at any time since 2001.

“We’re going to know in the next three to six months whether he’s doing anything differently — whether he can seriously address the corruption, whether he can raise an army that ultimately can take over from us and that doesn’t lose troops as fast as we train them,” one of Mr. Obama’s senior aides said. He insisted on anonymity because of the confidentiality surrounding the Obama administration’s own debate on a new strategy, and the request by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the American military commander in Afghanistan, for upward of 44,000 more troops.

“Needless to say,” the senior aide added, “this is not where we wanted to be after nine months.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

The problem is that we don’t have three to six months before the decision.  From a military perspective, Obama has two choices.  Either he must make a commitment sufficient to conquer that nation through overwhelming force, or he must convince our allies there to withdraw with us.  Winning the war will require 500,000 to 1,000,000 troops or more.  If our allies wish to join in such an effort they must be willing to contribute sufficient troops and treasure to hold up their end.  Looking at that alternative, convincing them to join us in withdrawal may be that difficult.  The worst thing the Obama administration can do is adopt a halfway measure, one that puts our troops in harm’s way with no real chance at success.

One problem we face is that we don’t have enough troops.  Bill Moyers offers a suggestion:


I would add one thing.  If there is to be a draft, let there be no deferments.  Let the sons and daughters of the rich be ground into mincemeat along with those of the poor.  Let the GW ChickenHawk Bushes and the Dick Five Deferment Cheneys of this world put their lives on the line.  When that happens, the war will end, because America’s parents will demand it.


the walking man said...

Charlie Rangel (D-NY) has had a draft bill in committee for at least five years. This bill excludes only the verifiable medically incapable and High School students up to age 21 or they graduate. In it there is no other condition for a deferment. This is the draft that should have been when Cheney was in art school.

TomCat said...

Mark, I adamantly opposed the draft during Vietnam, so I have an automatic knee jerk whenever the subject comes up. However, looking back, I doubt that we could have motivared the level of opposition to the war that we did had the draft mot made it personal. I'd like Rangel's version more if it moved the extended families of all sitting Congressmen and Senators to the top of the list.