Friday, July 25, 2008

DoD on Afghanistan

U.S. military officials called the situation in Afghanistan a mixed bags and cautioned the media not to take a "sky is falling" perspective in their reporting.

Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a news briefing on Tuesday that commanders in Afghanistan were asking for more troops, and acknowledged that Taliban activity has increased in some areas, particularly along the border with Pakistan, but also pointed out progress in other areas.

"I think we're all getting a little bit -- overwriting, perhaps, some of this stuff, which is that the sky is falling Afghanistan. I don't think that the secretary believes that is the case. It is a mixed picture in Afghanistan; we are seeing some areas clearly where there has been an increase of violence -- most notably in RC East, where we have seen, because of a lack of pressure on the Pakistan side of the border, an increase in the flow of foreign fighters from Pakistan into Afghanistan, and that is causing real problems for our troops there," he said. "But I think you can point to other areas in Afghanistan where there has clearly been progress. The Marines have made real headway against the Taliban in RC South.

"Additionally, we've seen consistent progression in the size and the capability of the Afghan national security forces. So -- additionally, and I think this may be the key component, is the secretary has heard from commanders on the ground who tell him that the enemy actions that we are seeing in various parts of Afghanistan are disconnected from one another, so there is no sort of cohesive enemy offensive that is threatening the Afghan government. But there clearly are pockets of problems, real problems that need to be dealt with, and more forces are necessary to do that."

I have not seen one main stream media report pointing out the enemy activity lacks cohesiveness.


Bryan said...

I find it interesting that Barack Obama does not advocate the same strategy in Afghanistan that he suggested for winning the Iraq War: Pressure the Afghan government into providing its own security via a phased withdrawal.
After all, if Afghan security forces haven't stood up in seven years then what makes us think they can succeed in 8 or more years?

Michael Maharrey said...

That's a good point Bryan.

On the flip side, he's advocating a surge strategy in Afghanistan that bears a remarkable resemblance to the strategy in Iraq that he says he still would not support, even knowing what he knows now.

I think this gives us a pretty good indication that the messiah doesn't really have any kind of foreign policy of his own.