Are we fighting to win?

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on January 14, 2009

The Washington Post published this article that paints a very disconcerting attitude displayed by the incoming Obama administration with regard to the war in Afghanistan.

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like "surge" of forces will significantly change the direction of a conflict that has steadily deteriorated over the past seven years.

Instead, Obama's national security team expects that the new deployments, which will nearly double the current U.S. force of 32,000 (alongside an equal number of non-U.S. NATO troops), will help buy enough time for the new administration to reappraise the entire Afghanistan war effort and develop a comprehensive new strategy for what Obama has called the "central front on terror."

That doesn't sound like a plan for winning. The addition of 30,000 troops who aren't expected to do anything seems like the military equivalent of just throwing money at a problem. Unfortunately, soldiers, airmen and Marines are more valuable than mere dollars. If there isn't a plan to use them, then they shouldn't be sent.

On the other hand, there's the possibility that Obama's assessment of what 30,000 highly trained fighting men can accomplish is faulty. It's happened before.

0 comments on “Are we fighting to win?”

  1. Are you kidding? Obama announced today that it's no longer necessary to capture bin Laden. Obama's setting the bar so low for himself that merely breathing for the next four years will be considered a success.

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