President Obama is deploying an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, plus another 5,000 for training. He will be disappointed if he believes that this deployment is going to work in any way similar to the ‘surge’.
The ‘surge’ was a total of soldiers that was just under twice what is proposed today. The greatest difference is that with the ‘surge’, the U.S. could isolate each battlefield. In the desert, the fighting had to be in the cities, this is the only place the ‘insurgency’ could survive. Even inside Baghdad the U.S. could surround the neighborhood and cut off all reinforcement and supply. Afghanistan would require 20 times the manpower and even then the outcome would not be anywhere nearly as decisive.
The reason that we are in Afghanistan is because the ‘government’ at that time initiated the 9/11 attacks upon our country. The worldwide obligation to ‘kill the occupier’ of Muslim land has kicked in. The subsequent war in Iraq did not alter this.
In 2001, I saw an interview with Condoleezza Rice where she kept bringing up the problem at the Afghan/Pakistani border. The Pakistani are split with only a minority favoring working with the U.S. By our keeping quiet about our direct involvement in Pakistan, we help the weaker side keep the ‘dark’, stronger side at bay. President Obama feels that the supporters of the ideology of our enemy are actually a small minority. Overt help will reduce this much further so democratic change can then allow them to defeat the ‘evil within’. We are playing with fire. If President Obama is wrong, a suicidal enemy will be allowed a much-improved opportunity to seize nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. This is a much greater threat than what Afghanistan ever has held.