Wednesday, June 30, 2010

General Patraeus

General betray us?

Remember this one?

President Obama is bringing in the very man who many called ‘General betrayus". The violence had gone way up in Iraq back in ’06 and ’07 and many who believed that we were losing the war blamed our general Patraeus. He was a major part of the ‘surge’ strategy, which we are attempting to graft into a victory in Afghanistan. So we can withdraw (‘Peace with honor’) beginning in July of 2011. This is another example of how President Obama is attempting to re-fight the war in Iraq.

It is natural to re-fight the last war. Things that worked the last time are used again. This is a natural human pattern. A problem here is that every war is different. I am certain that General Patraeus knows this and will take a different approach in Afghanistan. However, his boss today is a very different person from President Bush and has a very different agenda. Our President today has a political deadline that I doubt will be adjusted very much, no matter who is in charge in Afghanistan. Unless the time limit is removed we will be unable to achieve anything but short term gains. At best enough to allow us the excuse to make a quick exit. Which is the overall idea, particularly before the presidential election cycle begins in 2012. Another issue is the rules of engagement.

Maybe General Patraeus can get President Obama to alter the rules of engagement in Afghanistan, but I doubt any changes will be significant. Between the limited timeline and the limited rules of engagement, we have serious problems. Not to mention that the terrain will not allow for anything like the encirclement strategy that we were able to employ in Iraq. We will be hard pressed to isolate the battlefield with anything like the effectiveness we were able to employ in Iraq. We do not control the countryside like we did in Iraq, simply because of the terrain.

General Patraeus is a good soldier. He is also a better political choice than General McChrystal was. General Patraeus will probably be more successful, but I doubt that we will obtain anything long-term. His boss believes that we should not be there in the first place. We will be leaving at the first opportunity.

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