Dec 052009
Authors: Josh Phillips, Ian Bezek

Commit more troops in the short run

Josh Phillips

President Obama spent the weekend deliberating the current situation in Afghanistan and is expected to commit around 34,000 more U.S. troops to the region. Meanwhile, Gallup has released its latest poll, which revealed that 47 percent of Americans support sending more troops, while 39 percent would prefer to see a decrease in the number of our troops stationed in Afghanistan.

I think it’s clear that we should leave the area in the long run. But, General Stanley McChrystal, commander of our forces in Afghanistan, requested a troop increase and stated that the next year in Afghanistan is critical.

Now, our mission in Afghanistan is a little shady, I’ll admit. Are we there to wipe out terrorists? Or are we there to build infrastructure?

Obama has stated that our mission is to “Disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future.” Regardless of our intentions, there has not been a large terrorist attack since George W. Bush sent troops to Afghanistan after 9/11. Whatever our men and women in uniform are doing over there, it’s working.

And if our commanding officers are asking for more troops, then we shouldn’t hesitate to send more troops. We have currently committed 68,000 troops to Afghanistan, and if it takes 34,000 more to support them, keep them alive and kill terrorists, then we should do it.

Although I find it odd that Obama has adopted Bush’s policies regarding the war in the Middle East, I won’t argue his decision to send another wave of our fine men and women if it means ensuring the safety of the United States. That is, as long as Obama returns to his promise of bringing them home soon, ofamerican soldiers can’t fix Afghanistan’s problems course.

Ian BezI understand Josh’s argument that if a general requests more troops, we should deliver them. I also realize that there are not enough soldiers in Afghanistan to keep those Americans currently there safe.

The current situation is unacceptable, and as the saying goes, we either need to go big or go home. Oddly enough, I find myself agreeing with Michael Moore, who suggests we go home.

In an open letter to President Obama sent Monday, Moore wrote, “When we elected you we didn’t expect miracles. We didn’t even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn’t even function as a nation and never, ever has.”

The simple fact is that it’s hard to change a policy after its enacted. Sure the surge in Afghanistan is supposed to be temporary, but President Johnson didn’t plan on getting bogged down in Vietnam either. More than 50,000 Americans died because of Johnson’s mistake.

Josh and I agree that we should, “leave (Afghanistan) in the long run,” but I also believe we should leave in the short run.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Afghanistan is not going to be the model democratic state we desired. Worse yet, it still is, and will continue to be, a state that actively sponsors terrorists. You just can’t impose your values on people who reject them no matter how hard you try.

I understand what Obama wants to accomplish. He wants to defend America while cleaning up the mess Bush made. But desire alone doesn’t make results, sending more troops will only create another Vietnam for American soldiers.ek

 Posted by at 9:27 am

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