Background Information; Analysis; preparing for the Afghan Plan Debate to start Next Week

During the next week, the Magic Plan for Afghanistan that has been presented to President Obama will be put out for our consumption and for Congressional action. It is important to see what we’ve done in the past EIGHT years, what mistakes were made, and what options are open for President Obama and our country.


Figure I: Annual DOD Spending on the Iraq and Afghan Wars (in billions)

Figure I: Annual DOD Spending on the Iraq and Afghan Wars (in billions)

In searching for the inside information, I came to The Center for Strategic and International Studies section entitled “Resourcing for Defeat”. Here, you will find a report:

The Critical Failures In Planning, Programming, Budgeting And Resourcing The Afghan And Iraq Wars
By Anthony H. Cordesman, Erin K. Fitzgerald
Sep 1, 2009
The United States is now losing the war in Afghanistan, and is failing to consolidate its victory in Iraq. Reversing this situation requires changes in strategy, but it also requires significant additional resources. It may be tempting for the Obama Administration and the Congress to deny this reality, but any failure to provide the additional funds and forces needed to win, and to correct seven years of under-resourcing the Afghan conflict, may well lead to eventual defeat.

…Pay More or Lose

These years of underfunding the Afghan conflict have created a dilemma for the Obama Administration where it must now pay far more to compensate for a past Administration’s grand strategic failures or risk losing the war in Afghanistan. Moreover, neither DOD nor the State Department budgets now fund an adequate or well-defined plan for the civil side of either war, and it is unclear that the Department of Defense plans to sustain the US military advisory effort in Iraq at anything like the level required. The US finds it easy to announce “strategies” and concepts; it has yet to show that it can back them with efficient and effective plans, programs, and budgets.

The end result is that President Obama must now deal with two badly managed and budgeted wars. In the case of Iraq, he must deal with the withdrawal of US combat forces from a war with no clear plan or funding for making the transition to a civilian-dominated nation building effort or supporting the development of Iraqi security forces. It the case of Afghanistan, he must either make unpopular and costly decisions to compensate for seven crippling years of underresourcing the war, or risk losing it.

* * *
My thoughts: The closing words “…or risk losing it”. There’s no mention of what is “Winning It?”. Pour more money in so we don’t lose it means we keep pouring money and our soldiers into a death zone for how long? It’s time for us to GET OUT OF CENTRAL ASIA.

Also, read Joey Galloway’s “Afghanistan isn’t worth one more American life”, and the Powell Doctrine and answer the eight questions it poses. Can’t answer one in the positive now regarding Afghanistan.

Write your Congress Member and your Senators right now at this link. It is easy to do. Please do it now. No more troops, no more money, End the War(s) Now.

SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE The Afghanistan Abyss, written by Nicholas Kristof as an OpEd piece for the NY TImes reports on interviews with top Afghan experts in the military and ex-CIA:

  • “Our policy makers do not understand that the very presence of our forces in the Pashtun areas is the problem,” the group said in a statement to me. “The more troops we put in, the greater the opposition. We do not mitigate the opposition by increasing troop levels, but rather we increase the opposition and prove to the Pashtuns that the Taliban are correct.

    “The basic ignorance by our leadership is going to cause the deaths of many fine American troops with no positive outcome,” the statement said.

  • ***
    Thank you Mr. Kristof and the NY Times for this great OpEd piece. END THE WAR(s) NOW.


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