How much?

by Dafydd on 11/25/2009 · 2 comments

Here is an opinion piece originally from the Global Post put out on Reuters.

It takes an interesting view on the Obama trip to China (the obvious point about borrower visiting bank manager amplified by the fact that China is, however indirectly, financing the Afghan & Iraqi wars).

The article comes out against a further surge, largely for cost reasons. Although the point is also made that an extra 20 thousand plus troops have already been sent. It would seem sensible to see what difference that makes first.

Yesterday I planned to highlight another “Obama Decision In Days” pieces (Reuters).

But there really was an announcement yesterday – about finishing the job. Seems like the betting now favours somewhere between 30 & 40 thousand. Yet the final decision is still not here.

I know Obama has been accused of dithering over in the US. Here in the UK, this has gone on so long it has almost disappeared from the news agenda. Support for the Afghan campaign is pretty much in freefall here, and while the five killings by an Afghan soldier a couple of weeks back looked like a turning point, Obama’s perceived indecision will probably be more costly in the long term.


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– author of 23 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

I am a UK citizen & resident with a long standing interest in Central Asia. This probably has something to do with student days, a late night TV show called 'The Silk Road' and a TV with no remote control. I currently work in software and live with my wife & three children.

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{ 2 comments }

anan November 27, 2009 at 2:25 am

“the five killings by an Afghan soldier a couple of weeks back looked like a turning point” ANP, not ANA. Big difference. Why has this significantly affected public opinion in Britain? Every army has some psychos who want to mass murder their fellow soldiers. The US army had Major Hassan.

Why is so big a deal made of one psycho out of 93,000 ANP?

Few points on the ANP. Former CSTC-A commanding MG Formica said early this month that the ANP is about 4 to 5 years behind the ANA. The entire ANP only had 3,000 trained as of the beginning of 2008. The rest of the ANP at the time was untrained; most of them unvetted too. Both points have been widely known to everyone with the slightest interest in Afghanistan for years.

This was by design. The international community refused to pay for, train or equip the ANP in any serious way before 2007. It is amazing that the Taliban was so incompetent to not field some of their cadre as ANP before this.

As an aside, has anyone heard of an Afghan Police officers who was vetted and trained attacking fellow ANP, ANA, or ISAF?

Dafydd November 27, 2009 at 4:36 am

Why was this a big deal? It was a news story that landed on a day when there was no bigger news story. It took the headlines. The public was ripe for a reason to turn against the Afghan campaign, this was the reason. A million other things might have been.

The incident is not so significant in itself, but it does mark a turning point. Before that, the public was assumed to be vague about the campaign, if not supportive, then at least not opposed.

Now the campaign is viewed as unpopular.

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