Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Numbers Game

With opinion polls showing that the Americans and European publics turning against the nearly the Afghan war, U.S Army General Stanley McChrystal has called for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan.

To boost his case, General McChrystal said that failure to sent more troops could risked an outcome where defeating the Taliban insurgency is no longer possible. The problem for U.S President Barack Obama (and McChrystal) is where the troops will come from.

General McChrystal already commands more than 100,000 Western troops in Afghanistan, and over two-thirds of them are American. Even if President Obama want to send more troops there (and there are hints he don’t), where would he find the numbers needed?

A lot of people say Iraq, but the situation in Iraq is still fluid and you can’t move troops from one war zone to another without time to rearm, retrain and re-assess the troops. No help will come from Europe as thousands of Italians just packed the streets of Rome to call for Italy to pull its troops out amid a state funeral for the 6 Italian soldiers who were killed last week by a bomb.

General McChrystal said that “under-resourcing” the Afghan war could make America losing it. However I think the question is not a matter of “under-resourcing” but a question of whether there are adequate resources now to conduct the Afghan war.


hire said...

More troops or failure....

Gar said...

It depends on the definition of losing.

To win a war, you normally gain something.

There is nothing to gain from this war.

It doesn't make me sleep any better knowing that "the West" is fighting the Taliban.

I believe America should pull their forces (completely) from any country that has not specifically requested assistance.

Ghost said...

Question reminds where are you going to get the troops from even IF you are sent more troops to fight a 8 year war you are currently losing

Gar said...

Question remains, what do you mean by "losing"?

Your question is like me wanting to buy a new sports car but I don't have the money for it. Sure, I'd like to and I'll tell everyone, "One of these days I'm going to buy me a Lamborghini", but I have no idea where I'm going to get the money.

If Pakistan or Afghanistan or India or any neighboring country want help in Afghanistan, then we say, "Yeah, we'll help, but not with out X more troops" and let them deal with the differences.

Ghost said...

Sorry Gar but if there are any new troops entering Afghanistan, they will have to be Americans. I don't think any help will come from Europe, Pakistan or anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

McChrystal is American. Why should Pakistan or India be the one putting in new troops when it is the "American" general asking for them?

Ghost said...

Where the troops come from is of less importance than whether you want to continue the war. If America’s answer is yes, then they should answer their general’s call for troops. If not…

Gar said...

That was my whole point.

A war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, (you name it) is half way around the world from America.

America doesn't need to be there.

For America to be there should be infuriating to everyone.

America is basically saying, "You can't take care of yourselves, so we'll do it for you."

If Iran goes nuclear, they aren't going to hurt America.

I suspect that the Taliban in Afghanistan do more harm to Pakistan than anyone else, but I don't hear Pakistan asking for help.

Ghost said...

Gar, you seems to be in favour of pulling out. Although I don't think that's a bad idea, pulling out means America lost the war. And I think that's not going to happen as it would mean political suicide for Obama

Gar said...

Still depends on your definition of lost.

If you remember, Afghanistan was originally invaded because the Taliban were protecting what's his face. I seriously can't even remember his name.

Anyway, to the best of my knowledge, he's not dead, so if winning meant killing the guy then America lost a long time ago.

If winning meant toppling the Taliban government, then that was accomplished a long time ago, but for some reason they were allowed back in power. I still don't see that as a win or a loss.

What has been lost? What can be won? I don't know. I don't think anyone knows.