Friday, August 24, 2007

Cutting Corners in Afghanistan

In my opinion, the biggest cost to our involvement in Iraq continues to be the fact that it prevents us from providing the necessary troops and resources necessary to succeed in Afghanistan.

This problem again became, sadly, clear today with the deaths of three British soldiers from a U.S. airstrike.

Now I know that unintentional deaths of coalition troops (friendly fire) or to the civilian population (collateral damage) are a cost of any military invaision and occupation. However, it is well known that these costs rise greatly the more you rely on an air war against insurgents as opposed to boots on the ground.

These unintentional deaths carry a great cost in the battle for hearts and minds. Every civilian death that results from an errant airstrike increases hostility toward the coalition forces and creates civilian support for the insurgency. The U.S. has been repeatedly condemned by Hamid Karzai and our allies for the damage caused by errant airstrikes. At soome point, the predictably results from these airstrikes no longer are considered accidents.

In my view, any intellectually honest discussion of the surge in Iraq or our continued occupation of that country needs to address the damage our involvement there is having on the international community's ability to succeed in Afghanistan.

Bush clearly avoids any discussion of Afghanistan whenever he discusses Iraq and the media has failed to ask the tough questions of Bush or rightwing hawks or anybody about this issue. It's up to elected Democrats and campaigning Democrats to make this point. Sadly, I haven't been hearing much about it and I fear our ability to succeed in Afghanistan is slowly slipping through our fingers.


  • how bout a post about Alberto Gonzalez?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:20 AM  

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