Obama's Afghanistan Strategy - Will it work?
Operation Kanjar (Strike of the Sword) began with fanfare a few days ago. The strategy was that US troops would occupy villages and win the heart and minds of locals.
Brigadier General Larry Nicholson told reporters in a teleconference yesterday that he needed more troops. He was careful to say that he needed more Afghan National Army troops. At the present he has 650 working with his 4000 Marines.
He hopes to eventually have one ANA Battalion for every US battalion under his command. This, no doubt, will take time.
The reason more troops are required that every time you go into a village and leave troops behind there are less troops to continue the mission, eventually you run out of troops.
Success in this strategy requires that security can be assured for the civilian population. Security must be provided in the country side to allow UN agencies and NGOs to deliver supplies and start with the reconstruction process, thereby making the life of normal Afghans better.
A task of this nature will take a long time to accomplish and I doubt that it can be accomplished with the present troop levels, if ever.
The Taliban are resiliant, they still have the ability to escape into Pakistan to recuperate and resupply. Does anyone have a recollection of a similar picture during the Vietnam war?
Today up to 30 Taliban escaped a village after being surrounded by US troops. The new MChrystal policy calls for restraint when civilians are around. The Taliban took advantage of a situation, when told to release women and children, they just put on Burkha's and left with the women and children.
Afghanistan will be a long haul and the success is being balanced on a very delicate scale.
Afghanistan on Line is a point form History of Afghanistan here
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The commander of US Marines in southern Afghanistan said on Wednesday there was an urgent need for more Afghan security forces as well as civilian experts to back up a major offensive against Taliban insurgents.
"I'm not going to sugarcoat it. The fact of the matter is we don't have enough Afghan forces, and I'd like more," Brigadier General Larry Nicholson told reporters in a teleconference.
A week after 4,000 Marines launched an operation against insurgents in Taliban strongholds in the Helmand River valley, only about 650 Afghan security forces were accompanying the US troops, Nicholson said.