Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Well How About That

Speaking of immersion courses in history, which I was just a few minutes ago in my previous post, The NYT's Afternoon Update just landed in my inbox:
In the fall of 2003, the new commander of American forces in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David W. Barno, decided on a new strategy. Known as counterinsurgency, the approach required coalition forces to work closely with Afghan leaders to stabilize entire regions, rather than simply attacking insurgent cells.

But there was a major drawback, a new unpublished Army history of the war concludes. Because the Pentagon insisted on maintaining a “small footprint” in Afghanistan and because Iraq was drawing away resources, General Barno commanded fewer than 20,000 troops.

As a result, battalions with 800 soldiers were trying to secure provinces the size of Vermont. “Coalition forces remained thinly spread across Afghanistan,” the historians write. “Much of the country remained vulnerable to enemy force increasingly willing to reassert their power."
Afghanistan really hurts. I felt then, and still do, that the invasion of that country was justified. I felt then, but no longer do, that we could really do some good for that country's people. Now our strategy seems to be "have Nintendo graduates based here in the US fly drones around and blow up weddings."

Doesn't seem to be working, but maybe it's just me.

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