…I am not arguing that we could not win a theoretical war in Afghanistan. But this particular war is being fought without sufficient resources, without a strategy than can remotely succeed and, most unfortunately, with at least one eye on our domestic politics, rather than both eyes on victory.
Regarding resources, the strategy calls for us to deny sanctuary to the enemy such that al-Qaida could not get back in the country safely. Yet even with the surge troops, we cannot occupy any but the most populous areas — so even if we succeed in our current efforts (which we are not doing), we will not be executing our strategy for want of troops.
Regarding the strategic failure, the premise of this war as currently being run is that we turn everything over to our Afghan government army and policy, who will be capable of maintaining whatever successes our troops will have achieved. This is laughable.
As virtually any troops or officers recently back from Afghanistan will tell you, the number of troops and police being recruited, trained and kept in service is pathetically short of targets.
Moreover, most of them won’t fight. The idea that they will be ready to take over in 2011 or even 2014 is just not in the cards. And yet that is our strategic exit strategy.
Finally, it is apparent that the strategy of this war has been fatally tainted by domestic political calculation. This proposition was unambiguously described by Woodward in his recent book "Obama’s War…"
I’m not sure I could argue any of his points.