The EU

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Friday, February 13, 2009


This Washington Post article by Anne Applebaum, The Only 'Surge' That Will Last," is short but it is on the mark.

As one commentator said, "Anne Applebaum hit this one out of the park," and then went on to quote this passage:
If we use our new "surge" to improve the Afghan army, on the other hand, expanding its role in the south and on the border, it could eventually provide basic security in most of the country.  It could also create an institution that Afghans of all ethnic backgrounds would admire -- assuming it doesn't turn authoritarian or corrupt in the meantime.  Still, it's not like we have a choice.  The Afghan army may not be our best ticket out of Afghanistan, but it's the only one we've got.
Sadly, we are manning our own identified requirement of advisors to the Afghan National Army at 50%.  On the "non-military side, the Afghan National Police advisory effort is manned at 33%.  This second statistic is why the US Congress needs to get serious about funding the Department of State and other Departments that are part of the Global War on Terrorism.

There has been some talk about the over-militarization of our foreign policy.  When we don't properly fund our Department of State and don't ask that other Departments be ready to do more, people naturally turn to the Department of Defense, which is seen has having all that "unused" manpower, sitting around, waiting for someone else in the Government to have a need.  It is time to reverse that trend.

I commend the article to you.

Regards  --  Cliff

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