Michael's Dispatches

Obama plan for Afghanistan, Pakistan short on bold


2 April 2009

President Obama's new plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan (AfPak) was eagerly anticipated. I first reported from Afghanistan in early 2006 that the war was being lost, so any new plan to address the problems is at least three years late. This is not Mr. Obama's fault, but it is his problem.

During his March 27 announcement, Mr. Obama said that critical assets were diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq. That's true, but it's not the only reason why Afghanistan is in trouble. For a variety of reasons - history, geography, people - Iraq is remarkably different than AfPak.

Please Click to view entire article in the Washington Times.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    A&N · 12 years ago
    Great article in the Washington Times. Now that's our old Mike. Mr. President does not want to win...just like he doesn't want to secure the Mexican border, Mike. And when it fails and the terrorists have one more victory and the US looks like a bunch of losers he can blame our great military because you know...he did all he could do...our Military just could not finish the job. We are all wise to him for the most part. Knowing what to do about this weak Commander and Chieft is the tough part but Americans are working on that. You see, we Americans aren't really losers nor do we surrender nor do we fight with one hand tied behind our backs. God bless our Men over there because they are basically on their own as are we are here at home. Your article was right on, Mike. Thanks. But next time...don't hold back...will you? Sorry...I think I posted this more than once...over enthusiastic.
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    Donald J. Liveley · 12 years ago
    In your last article I put it very distinctly - where is the linkage from the announced strategies to the stated goal? What is there in that goal that suggests suggest that this is achieveable? Even an oddsmaker in a back alley in New York knows about Statistics and probablity. What would they give today for probablity of success? Has "diplomacy" won in North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Myanmar, AfPak, Dri Lanka, InPak?, Tibet?, Sudan, Somalia? Diplomacy won in Northern Ireland somewhat, but at least both sides believe in Democracy and Jesus Christ. Whether it was the Iron Current or elsewhere, Economics generally trumps the day. That is roughly what happened in Red China, even though it is still undemocratic. They have done a better job than nutty Hugo Chavez who's economy has oil! That is more than China has. So - if you want to achieve goal # 1, why is the strategy #1 the way to go? Diplomacy is important, but it works with people who rspect people and humane behavior. Jrrassic Park (AfPak) is neither democratic or humane. Meanwhile - knock'em or get out. I prefer to see the tumor eliminated in AfPak. Anything less I see as literally risking humanity because how many nukes are their in Pakistan?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    RW Hannaway · 12 years ago

    Thanks for taking the time to write this piece. Although I did not support the current administration I really would like to see them get us on the right track. Unfortunately I just don't see that happening given the decisions over the last 90+ days that seem to completely undermine our country. It's difficult to tell if the President is an evil genius or an empty suit but God help us all if he and his team don't get it together soon.

    Be well,

  • This commment is unpublished.
    flyonthewall · 12 years ago
    Michael Yon Out of the Blogosphere! Crossing the aisle to MSM!! Fantastic article. Who will read? Who will comprehend? Who will WAKE UP???
    Waiting. . .
  • This commment is unpublished.
    David Elkin · 12 years ago
    Your normal solid observations by being on the ground. Some of us sitll want the truth and thanks to you for your efforts.

    It looks like the old Clinton ploy of stick you head in the sand, and hope nothing bad happens. It doesn't help that most of the present administration cut their teeth in the late 90's. It will be a tough time for the DOD during his administration. the key appointment in the future is who gets Gates job when he steps down

    We need to fix the issues with Afghanastan, Pakistan, Mexico, N. Korea with strength, not weakness. I am not sure universal health care and education issues should have a higher priority than National Security. I see difficult times in the near future.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mad Mike · 12 years ago
    Bravo, Michael. I hope they listen. Not only to you but to the right people in the Pentagon. I'm not holding my breath. I fear how many of our troops will have to die needlessly before they do listen. Keep up the pressure.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Richard B. · 12 years ago
    If it will require 400,000 troops to secure Afghanistan, then that many trained soldiers should be sent. An additional 100,000 should be sent to train Afghanistan soldiers and police. If half a million is not enough to ensure that we win, send more. If we are not in Afghanistan to win, then we should not be there. I am sure that we can put a half million troops in Afghanistan and doing so would reduce our number of unemployed.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Scott Dudley · 12 years ago
    Washington Times???? Very disappointing.
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    Kevlaur · 12 years ago
    Again, Michael, thanks for the truth. Like so many other posters state, if we're in it, let's be in it to win.
    But, then again, the sec-state said that during her campaign, no?

    You are correct in pointing out that B.Hussein never misses an opportunity to take a swipe at Bush.
    Is B.O. deranged? Still on the campaign trail?

    Our military is fighting hard over there but it is critical we win the media battlespace, as you so well know.

    LCDR Dudley... what is disappointing about the Washington Times? It is probably the only paper that would carry anything remotely resembling any type of criticism of Hussein.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Will · 12 years ago
    Your meaning is not clear. If we are to get the benefit of your insight we need you to spend a few extra words.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    AVN · 12 years ago
    Michael you hit the nail on the head. I have no confidence Obama/Biden understand military strategy (especially counterinsurgency strategy). If we listened to their advice on Iraq it would have exploded into full scale civil war, genocide, and outside powers in the region would be slugging it out using Iraq as the battlefield (akin to what's been happening in Cong . Especially appalling is Obama/Biden expressed these views in the face of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) for Iraq of 2007. They either didn't bother to read it, or they deliberately ignored the intelligence and espoused policy (i.e., oppose the surge; advocate partition; fixed timetable for massive withdrawal) in the face of what all of the key experts concluded. (Which is EXACTLY what they accused Bush of doing).

    (Read it for yourself at http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20070202_release.pdf)
    "Coalition capabilities, including force levels, resources, and operations, remain an essential stabilizing element in Iraq. If Coalition forces were withdrawn rapidly during the term of this Estimate, we judge that this almost certainly would lead to a significant increase in the scale and scope of sectarian conflict in Iraq, intensify Sunni resistance to the Iraqi Government, and have adverse consequences for national reconciliation. If such a rapid withdrawal were to take place, we judge that ... neighboring countriesƒ??invited by Iraqi factions or unilaterallyƒ??might intervene openly in the conflict; massive civilian casualties and forced population displacement would be probable; AQI would attempt to use parts of the countryƒ??particularly al-Anbar provinceƒ??to plan increased attacks in and outside of Iraq; and spiraling violence and political disarray in Iraq, along with Kurdish moves to control Kirkuk and strengthen autonomy, could prompt Turkey to launch a military incursion."
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bob Baird · 12 years ago
    Mr. Yon is once again right on the mark regarding what needs to be done if we are to have a chance at winning in Afghanistan. More money, more troops ( combat and training) and civil aid teams protected by troops. Listen to the Commander and give him what he needs. Obama has no sense of warfare and what is required to fight. In Sec. Gates he has the right man at the right time and his military command team is the same basic group that came up with the muscle to make the surge work in Iraq. Obama needs to listen and learn quickly and I hope he will. He also needs to learn that the political leadership in his party also have no sense of what needs to be done in Afghanistan and should be ignored and put in their proper places. He can do that. Will he?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Scott Dudley, CDR, · 12 years ago
    What are achievable goals in Af?
    Destroy the Taliban? No way.
    Bring Af into the 21st century? 20th century is not even feasible
    Bring democracy to Af? Just not going to happen.
    Al Qaeda is in Pak.

    Just what can be achieved there?

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