Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Col. Sellin, whose op-ed and consequent firing we noted (don't miss Buhallin's corrective), is taking advantage of his newfound liberty to opine over at Tom Ricks's place:
Seriously though, I think it is time for the American people to hold the senior military leaderships' (colonels and up) feet to the fire. When they make their reports to Congress, one can be sure that it is the best possible scenario that they can justify without lying. The phrase "progress is being made" should not be accepted as an answer. It is like saying "the check is in the mail."

Everyone should remember that these are military careerists. War provides the opportunity for testing their skills, getting medals and promotions. A compromise peace without their definition of "victory" might be considered a failure. They all want to march down Pennsylvania Avenue like General Norman Schwarzkopf. Likewise, the contractors want to continue making their huge profits. It is the common soldiers, however, who are providing the sweat and shedding the blood.

We must stop treating the Afghans like children. They are not. It is their country and for better or worse, they should start taking responsibility for it. There is little reason not to begin turning over responsibility now. Regional Command West is possible because it is the most peaceful part of the country. That could be followed by Regional Command North. Between now and next July, the coalition can concentrate on Regional Commands East, South and Southwest.

After that no more blank checks. In my opinion, time's up.
Undoubtedly the right, although difficult, answer; Afghanistan may collapse, or threaten to, but we cannot keep it on life support forever, a sort of Terri Schiavo "vegetative State."


  1. As a conservative Republican, I agree absolutely. Our purpose in Afghanistan was to topple and punish the Taliban for providing a safe haven for Al Quiada. We did that. If we want to maintain enough troops there to throw the balance of power in a civil war and keep them from taking back over, that's one thing, but we shouldn't be there with massive numbers of troops in a war we cannot win.

    What exactly is our objective? Does anyone know of a realistic objective other than to muddle along?

  2. I believe we were supposed to be assisting in the creation of a stable Afghan regime.

    After which our troops would be redeployed to hunt down the Easter Bunny.

    (Has there *ever* been a "stable Afghan regime"?)

  3. At least as stable as Alsace-Lorraine, I imagine.

  4. Ha! Tho the Alsatians and Lorrainers never did have the luck and skill to throw out anyone who wanted to occupy their land.

    The better European comparison is surely Switzerland, if you can imagine an Islamic, sodomitical, five-times-as-rugged Switzerland.