Let The Afghans Try
With President Obama scheduled to announce his Afghanistan strategy tomorrow at a United States Military Academy at West Point. There have been many different viewpoints from many different experts on the level of American involvement in this unstable country. With opinions ranging from those of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who requested an additional 40,000 troops to that of Karl W. Eikenberry, who opposes troop increases. Mr. Eikenberry opposes these increases because he fears the Afghan government will be too reliant on American forces in the country. With a wide range of opinions, it is no wonder President Obama is still strategizing the war plan. Many of Obama’s supporters and critics take caution because they fear Obama will make the same mistakes in the Afghan war that President Lyndon B. Johnson made during his Vietnam strategy.
I agree more along the side of the argument against substantial troop increases. Afghanistan has, for thousands of years, proved impenetrable to outside forces (from Genghis Khan to the Soviet Union), often proving the collapse of these invaders. Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Carl Levin proposes an increase of security training for the Afghan forces to ensure Afghan control. This is a key step in reducing Afghan dependence on the United States, in addition to guaranteeing the stability of the Afghan government, which in turn will hinder any Taliban insurgency from thriving in the rural countryside of Afghanistan.
Because the Afghan Government is so weak and corrupt, and President Karzai.’s power so feeble, the United States is funneling many billions of dollars into a war against guerilla insurgents that will become useless when the troops do withdraw. Unless the our government wishes to have a never ending presence in Afghanistan, we will eventually have to hand back control to the Afghans.
However much the many experts in this field disagree, there is one common element in the key to success in Afghanistan, there needs to be more control given back to the Afghans, this involves training more Afghan led security forces, maybe even more NATO and UN involvement. Another valid point brought up by David R. Obey of the House Appropriations Committee, there needs to be an additional source of revenue to fund the war. To empower the Afghans and to protect our own people, steps that are often unpopular will have to be taken to ensure the survival of the Afghan government so our troops can come home.