Sunday, March 11, 2012

Afghanistan Withdrawal?

ISAF operations in Afghanistan have made huge advances over the last 18 months. Large areas of Kandahar and Helmand provinces (the heartlands of the insurgency) have been removed from Taliban control and civilian economic/social vitality is returning to these areas. Huge losses have been inflicted on the Taliban's senior/middle leadership and Afghan Security forces are advancing in capability, professionalism and operational reach.

 These successes have come at significant cost- both human and treasure. To abandon Afghanistan now would be a catastrophic error of strategic judgement. The President made a major error in announcing a deadline for the US withdrawal, but we can still achieve some semblance of lasting stability/democracy in Afghanistan if we decide to remain committed to the task. It is morally foul that many who formerly supported the war are now deciding (for US domestic political purposes*) that the effort should be abandoned.

We owe the injured and the dead much more than a skewed strategy born of partisan analysis. 

* - While I disagree with them, I absolutely respect those who argue that the ISAF effort cannot succeed and that as such should be ended. My issue is with those using the conflict as a political pawn.

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