Jan 18, 2007

NATO and U.S. Commanders in Afghanistan need more troops.

I was blogging and commenting over at Bring it On! yesterday about the Shrub's escalation of the war in Iraq. One of my main points of contention was the war in Afghanistan. I always supported going into Afghanistan. The Taliban was born and raised there. We were on our way to ending their reign there, when....lo and friggin behold...we started our shitstorm in Iraq.

We started diverting our troops into Iraq, and as they say..the rest is history. Now comes a request from NATO and the remaining US commanders in Afghanistan for more troops. They have actually devised a PLAN for what they will do with these troops, unlike the clusterfuck plan of the Shrub's for Iraq spun to us as "the new and improved War in Iraq".

There are roughly 132,000 troops in Iraq..there are only 40,000 troops in Afghanistan, of which only 21k of them are American soldiers.

Does anyone but moi...see the friggin irony in this? Anyone? We had a handle on the terrorists and their breeding grounds in Afghanistan. We actually were WINNING there sportsfans! To all the folks enamored with the US actually winning a war, Afghanistan was the best shot we had!

Gates has said he is sympathetic to this request. WTF? Sympathetic is something you feel for a stray dog, a friend who is suffering a loss or perhaps even an emotion that comes to mind when one is thinking about the plight of the homeless...but its not what I want to hear from Gates when it comes to maintaining the hard fought victories in Afghanistan. No sir..its surely not.

Even Hillary Clinton has raised the issue of more troops in Afghanistan this week. She said screw Iraq and escalating there..put more troops where winning is possible..and as of spring..losing is also a possibility when the Taliban comes out of hibernation and starts up their shit again..running over the border from Pakistan and making life a living hell for Afghani's and the soldiers trying to protect what headway they have made in the years we have been over there.

A snippet from the IHT article I linked at the beginning of my bitchfest:

"Gates met with General David Richards, the British officer commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan, who has complained repeatedly that unmet pledges of troops and equipment from NATO countries have left him 10 to 15 percent short of the forces he requires.

"Clearly, there is a need to fulfill those commitments, and I'll be asking them to do that" at a meeting of NATO defense ministers later this month in Spain, Richards said."

I realize it's not completely up to America to produce the troops and equipment needed to "fulfill" the needs of the commanders in Afghanistan. But if we can't do it, we damn sure need to make sure SOMEBODY is doing it..and if the commanders have been consistently short, its also our responsibility to lean on the other NATO members to keep their promises. We are quite good at leaning on countries..its something we do quite well usually. We waltzed into Afghanistan looking for Bin Laden, our troops died to secure Afghanistan didn't they?

The last paragraph really jacked my jaw. I was gritting my teeth and I felt a nice rise in my blood pressure when I read this:

"NATO's Afghanistan force is especially short of helicopters and airplanes for evacuating wounded troops and moving supplies. In addition, Richards said he still had not received 1,200 promised troops to serve as a reserve force that he could deploy around Afghanistan on short notice."

I will be honest..my fear is that my niece will need to be evac'd if she, god forbid, gets wounded, or her group needs important supplies to protect themselves or even keep friggin' warm or eat. My mind was racing at this point with all the negatives associated by not having enough damn helicopters or airplanes.

We are shortchanging the troops and the people of Afghanistan..and its fucking WRONG people. We don't have enough troops to escalate the clusterfuck in Iraq, but to actually lose ground in Afghanistan because of Iraq is criminal. Its CRIMINAL. Why wasn't John Jackass Bolton leaning on NATO when his dumbass was squirreling around the UN, twisting his mustache and making smarmy comments?

We are going to blow it in Afghanistan. We are going to let it all go to hell..so we can toss the dice and roll more soldiers into Iraq. Everyone should be pissed off about this..EVERYONE..not just me. Everyone who wants to protect America, Everyone that wants to destroy the Taliban and the terrorists they create, everyone that wants to bring an end to the Global War on Terror should be pissed. Everyone who is tired of hearing about the fear factor from Bush and his buddies should be pissed.

If this doesn't convince people that Bush is either an Idiot or playing some sick game with no intention of winning anything, anywhere, I do not know what will. Gates having the nads to be "sympathetic" just shows the cavalier attitude of this administration. It also means the "War on Terror" is a damn joke, albeit a very sick one..

The war in Afghanistan has been on the back burner since Iraq started going to hell in a handbasket. The number of American troops have dwindled and frankly, I had to get this news from a foreign newspaper, thats how little attention our media gives to Afghanistan anymore.

Its not right..and I am fucking pissed. You should be too, my dear reader.

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Cross-posted at Bring it On!

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