Afghanistan war experts re-up strategy for war
Two days after the publishing of more than 90,000 top secret documents about the war in Afghanistan on wikileaks.org, Sen. John Kerry (D–MA), pushed back from his original statement.
On Tuesday, Sen. Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, called the leaks “unacceptable” and “a violation of federal law.” He did, however, acknowledge the picture painted in the documents was a grim one.
“After nine years of war, more than a thousand casualties and billions of us taxpayer dollars the Taliban appear to be as strong as they have been,” Kerry said.
A stronger enemy means experts are calling for a stronger strategy, asking for more time.
“I think the first thing we need to do is stop talking about 2011 and start talking about 2014,” said Dr. David Kilcullen, a counterinsurgency expert and Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Center for a New American Security.
Kilcullen also called for more resources.
“The second thing we need is a big tactical hit on the Taliban.”
It is a strategy that may sound familiar: more money, more troops and more time. And if you do, well there’s no guarantee anything will change.
Asked if it was possible that this war is just unwinnable, Kilcullen said, “It certainly possible. The thing is we won’t know until we get to the point where we begin to pull out and we see if the Afghan government is sustainable.”
While lawmakers listened, not all liked what they heard.
“At what point do we say, we can’t make this work,” said Sen. Ted Kaufman, (D–DE). “I do not want to spend one more dollar and one more American life…that day.”
It was a push back while others work to push ahead, a tug-of-war within a real war with no end in sight.
Discussing Afghanistan and the WikiLeaks leak, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern argued the Obama administration belittled and downplayed the information that was released, blowing it off as hype when in fact there is some very important information buried in the documents.
“There is incredible news in here, first and foremost, that the Pakistanis, to whom we are giving billions of dollars each year, are not only financing, equipping but they’re guiding the Taliban,” said McGovern.
He argued that the reports on Pakistan’s involvements and actions are huge and important.
Pakistan has a very different interest in Afghanistan than the US. The Pakistanis seek to secure their stance against India, a stance that is assisted by the Taliban, argued McGovern.
The war will likely continue because profiteers, weapon makers and contractors are benefiting from war and lawmakers have to maintain a strong stance on terrorism.
“Just as during the Cold War when no politician could possibly let himself or herself be accused of being soft on communism, well now nobody can afford of being accused of being soft on terrorism,” said McGovern.