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?