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Surging in Afghanistan

The Obama administration still hasn’t made public the conclusions of its review of Afghanistan policy. Indeed the president hasn’t signed off on the policy yet. But from the leaks appearing in the MSM it looks like the administration is headed in the right direction.

According to the Washington Post:

A civilian “surge” of hundreds of additional U.S. officials in Afghanistan would accompany the already approved increase in U.S. troop levels there under a new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy being completed at the White House, according to administration officials.

According to the New York Times:

A plan awaiting final approval by the president would set a goal of about 400,000 troops and national police officers, more than twice the forces’ current size, and more than three times the size that American officials believed would be adequate for Afghanistan in 2002, when the Taliban and Al Qaeda appeared to have been routed.

Assuming these policies are actually implemented, the Obama administration will avoid the danger of a “minimalist approach” that John McCain and Joe Lieberman rightly warn against in this Washington Post op-ed. It appears that instead of downsizing our forces and concentrating on killing terrorist leaders — a strategy with scant chances of success — the administration will instead implement a full-blown counterinsurgency strategy of the kind that has recently worked so spectacularly in Iraq. We can only hope that the president ratifies this decision for it would immeasurably increase our odds of success on this vital battlefield.


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