Monday, November 9, 2009

Leslie Gelb exposes the truth about Afghanistan and General McChrystal's numbers game

It's in today's Daily Beast, and even though it has been said here and elsewhere before, reaching the MSM with this story is a good thing. General McChrystal is being not just disingenuous but damn near dishonest, as Leslie Gelb details:

The key for McChrystal is getting the 44,000 troops in battle within the next 12 months. But that just can’t be done. The most optimistic assessment comes from Kimberly Kagan of the ever-optimistic, fighting Kagans (the others being Bob and Fred). According to The Wall Street Journal, her recent study for the Institute for the Study of War assessed that “it would be difficult to move enough troops from other posts to deploy anywhere close to 40,000 troops before next summer at the earliest." U.S. armed forces are so thinned out and ill-prepared from having to fight two wars and stay ready for a slew of other conflicts that it is indeed “difficult,” if not outright impossible, to deploy the requested troops in time to head off McChrystal’s mission failure. And don’t forget the nightmarish delays caused by the military’s nightmarish bureaucracy. Senior military officers I’ve spoken with predict 16 to 18 months at best. McChrystal knows these delays very well, so why is he asking for what he realizes he can’t get —and predicting mission failure if he doesn’t get them?

Read the whole thing.

The bottom line: we have no mission in Afghanistan (which is why President Obama can't settle on a strategy) and our soldiers continue to be maimed and killed ... for no good reason.

But, hey, we passed one of several different versions of health insurance reform, so why bother thinking about tens of thousands of American men and women still in harm's way to deliver on a campaign promise?


Kilroy said...

General Westmoreland I mean McChrystal will be replaced.

"Westmoreland requested a further 200,000 troops to add to the existing 550,000. President Lyndon B. Johnson refused and in March, 1968, announced he was seeking peace talks with North Vietnam"

So does McChrystal's request mean Obama will seek peace with Iran?

townie 76 said...


One point which I think needs to be made is there are enough forces, but you have to do two things in order to have enough; one, take all your heavy forces (Tankers and Mech Infantry) and turn them into light infantry--does not happen over night; two, redeploy units without 12 months dwell.