by Ronnie Spangler
First President Obama had Vice President Biden advising him to reject General McChrystal and fight the war in Afghanistan with a small military footprint. Now we have Senator John Kerry advising the President to continue to delay and thoroughly think through any decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. With advisers like this the war in Afghanistan is destined for failure.
Senator Kerry stated on CNN “It would be entirely irresponsible for the president of the United States to commit more troops to this country, when we don’t even have an election finished and know who the president is and what kind of government we’re working with.” Vice President Biden and others have stated the same sentiment in previous interviews. What they really mean is the present government in Afghanistan may not be a government that will be a puppet to the Obama administration. They may not follow orders coming from the White House and our Democratic led Congress.
The question of whether the Karzai election was ligitiment or not is a totally different issue than the request for more troops. This is the same government we have been working with ever since the overthrow of the Taliban government. The one question Senator Kerry posed and seems to want an answer for "what kind of government we’re working with,” should have been answered back in March when President Obama laid out his first strategy plan for Afghanistan. Their idea of a peeling off and reaching out to moderate elements of the Taliban and making them part of the new government is a disaster waiting to happen. This is nothing new. Even the President said during his campaign that the possibility of breaking away some elements of the Taliban “should be explored,” and he repeated this idea aboard Air Force One during a Times interview. From the New York Times March 7, 2009 article:
"President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq."
This more than anything could explain the delay in making his decision on General McChrystal's request. He is desperately hoping things will turn around with the Taliban like it did with the Sunni militia in Iraq. He is hoping that if he just waits long enough the Taliban will get tired of fighting and another government will form under a new leader that will fight Al Qaeda for us. This will not happen. The Taliban hates America and anyone that does not believe in a puritanical caliphate that neither recognizes nor tolerates forms of Islam divergent from their own. A simpler way of looking at it is if you are not of the true Islamic faith and you do not follow Sharia Law in the most strictest sense, then you must be their enemy.
To some extent the Taliban is similar to the Khmer Rouge that devastated Cambodia. When it came to religion the Khmer Rouge was the complete opposite of the Taliban but, when it came to tactics used to control the population both were ruthless and genocidal. If we want to see a return of the killing fields in Cambodia, only this time in Afghanistan, then all we have to do is pull our troops out and let the Taliban regain control of Afghanistan. For the younger generation that don't know or have not been taught about Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge they committed genocide of over a million of their own people after taking control of Cambodia.
Under both systems of rule the population must remain uneducated and women are nothing more than property that can be killed for the simplest of reasons. Any perceived threat to power or in the case of the Taliban any deviation from Sharia law by any individual, can mean instant execution or imprisonment. Under both systems of rule the government controls all aspects of life. The Taliban used the Quran and Sharia law to control the population and the Khmer Rouge used the purist form of communism to control the population. To remain in power neither system of government could allow the population to have any individual rights, freedoms, or to take part in a modern society. Any form of capitalism was and still is strictly forbidden. Modern cities with factories, schools, or modern technology cannot be tolerated since they could be a future threat to the government. In Afghanistan the schools that were permitted were only for boys teaching them Islam and Sharia law. In Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge they were indoctrination schools teaching true Marxist Communism.
With all the talk about how knowledgeable Vice President Biden and Senator Kerry are on foreign affairs, one would think they would advise the President not to consider making deals with members of the Taliban. With Pakistan conducting a all out offense against the Taliban, now would be the perfect time for our NATO forces to do the same. If the Taliban were hit from both the west and east they could be isolated in the mountainous areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan and eventually destroyed. Having to fight on two fronts the Taliban could not hold out for a long period of time. As the Taliban is destroyed so will Al Qaeda be destroyed and we can leave Afghanistan knowing the world will be a little safer without them.
Time may have already ran out for President Obama. If the Pakistani offense is successful the Taliban may be pushed out of Pakistan and back into Afghanistan. If this happens the Taliban can have time to regroup and regain in their strength. Without sufficient forces for General McChrystal to attack and deal the Taliban a fatal blow in the mountainous regions around Afghanistan, they will be able to increase their attacks on NATO forces all around the country. If the President and Vice President believe they can rely on air power and drone aircraft to dislodge the Taliban from these mountainous areas they will find their efforts to have minimal success. By the spring of 2010 their numbers will be sufficient enough to create havoc in every area of Afghanistan. As the attacks increase so will NATO casualties. As the casualty numbers increase our NATO allies will be forced to leave and as public sentiment in America turns against the war Afghanistan will be lost.
The longer the President takes to make a decision and the more Senators that speak out advising the President to go slow, the weaker the President looks. Indecision by any commander leaves the perception of weakness in the eyes of the enemy. This increases the enemy's morale and emboldens them to fight the war longer than they would have fought if they did not see an end in sight. The enemy will begin to believe that if they continue their struggle and their attacks we will become disillusioned and retreat from Afghanistan.