Obama Throws 17,000 Troops at Afghanistan Mess
Posted on Feb 17, 2009
President Obama’s desire to escalate the war in Afghanistan, a sore spot for the progressives and anti-war folk who helped elect him, took a major step forward Tuesday when the White House announced plans to raise troop levels in Afghanistan by 50 percent over the next few months.
Part of the concern is that Obama’s approach to the region is reportedly modeled on the surge in Iraq, although the two countries have little similarity to each other and the alleged “success” of the surge has trouble surviving investigation.
Rather than listen to hawks like Richard Holbrooke, a cheerleader of the Iraq war and Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan, the president should read William Pfaff, Chris Hedges and Amy Goodman, among others.
New York Times:
President Obama will send an additional 17,000 American troops to Afghanistan this spring and summer in the first major military move of his presidency, White House officials said on Tuesday.
The increase would come on top of 36,000 American troops already there, making for an increase of nearly 50 percent. In issuing the order, Mr. Obama is choosing a middle ground, addressing urgent requests from commanders who have been pressing for reinforcements while postponing a more difficult judgment on a much larger increase in personnel that the commanders have been seeking.
DoD / Sgt. Zach Otto, U.S. Army
U.S. soldiers board a helicopter after completing a combat operation near Spera, Afghanistan.