h/t to the Woodward Report
Most public attention has focused on the pending request by McChrystal for troop reinforcements. But more significant than the troop numbers is his blueprint for a radical shift in the way the United States and its allies intend to fight the war.
Key among his proposed changes: rather than trying to fight everywhere, shifting forces to "critical areas,'' where the Afghan population is most at risk. Another key change: getting American troops -- and increasing numbers of U.S. civilians -- out of their armored vehicles and fortified bases into Afghan communities, and getting them to shuck body armor and helmets and to walk among the population unprotected, like the Afghans themselves do.
To the conservatives who are championing McChrystal putting more troops in Afghanistan, read the last paragraph and think long and hard on what the details are in McChrystal's plan.
That is nation building, not fighting the enemy.
When you look at the bigger picture, you can see more details of McChrystal's plan of using more troops for nation building falls in line with Obama's horse trading.
As was pointed out on this site on September 20, 2009, it was stated:
Now I have to ask, it doesn't seem like there has been a lot of troop transports going in and out of Manas Air base. And given what I know from my time being stationed overseas, you can see a whole-hell-of-a-lot of American goods being sold illegally off-base.
And another thing I know is; from reading the USA Today, there hasn't been 200,000 troops that have moved through the country of Kyrgyzstan and it seems that there are quite a few washing machines being sent over to Afghanistan and not enough troops.
Which brings me to my point on Obama's and Putin's horse trading business that I pointed to here.
On another point, on July 2nd, the New York Times ran an article that put a lot of spin on the efforts of the the countries that broke away from Russia.
One example is the U.S. base in Kyrgyzstan:
Kyrgyzstan’s reversal on Manas is a case study in canny horse trading. Russian officials, including Mr. Medvedev, have said they blessed the decision, and that may be true, but President Kurmanbek S. Bakiyev is the one who walked away with what he wanted.
Moscow wanted the base, a key transit hub for the United States’ war in Afghanistan, shut down; Kyrgyzstan wanted more money. In February, Moscow seemed to have achieved a master stroke — at a news conference announcing the pledge of $2.15 billion in Russian aid, Mr. Bakiyev said the United States would have to leave Manas in six months.
The horse trading that took place between Obama and Russia has been pointed out on this website. It started at the G20 summit and what was the end result? The United States gets to move no military hardware, only supplies such as food and support equipment. And the movement of the supplies will be monitored by the Russians.
We pay more for the use of the base and the monitoring of the goods opens the door for theft and black market of the goods.
Russia got what it wanted.
The important question in all of this will be, who wins? Russia or the United States?
As an update to the thread on the Manas Air Base, a post here points to facts on the effectiveness of Obama's horse trading with Russia.
MOSCOW, Oct 7 (Reuters) - The United States has so far sent only one shipment of supplies through Russian airspace to its troops in Afghanistan since Moscow and Washington agreed a transit deal in July, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.
For the conservatives who are championing McChrystal's plan, ask yourselves, how can you fight a ten year war without staging areas that allow for quick movement of military hardware?
You can't and given the details of McChrystal's plan on nation building instead of destroying the enemy, there seems to have been some pre-planning on Obama's part to do precisely what McChrystal is outlining in his plan.
These details on McChrystal's plan should enlighten the Republicans and suggest that they may have reacted too soon to endorsing McChrystal's plan of increasing troops in Afghanistan and placing them in an environment that puts our troops in a very dangerous position.
As stated on this site, it is advocated that American and NATO troops be pulled from Afghanistan and be placed in the Baltics until Iran's nuclear facilities are bombed.
And then put troops back in Afghanistan.
The reason for this is coming to light.
As has been stated to on this site with regard to Russia and the Baltics here:
The young folks you see in the video are Russians loyal to Putin and the Kremlin. I spoke to this before; there is a growing tension among certain Russians in Latvia and they are being supported by a pro-Kremlin underground.
In Georgia, there are accounts of subversion and assassination attempts by pro Kremlin forces and as I pointed to in a previous thread; Latvian officials expelled the Russian who was alleged to have been linked with an attempt to assassinate the Georgian President.
Sound like a country we want to do business with? That's Chicago politics and Obama is in his game. He knows how to play it. You just go along for the ride while the driver does the dirty work. And Obama is riding that bus, right behind the bus driver Putin.
As I said before, Governor Palin, it's time to step up and govern Alaska and make trading partners with the Baltics. Our economy here will benefit as will the Baltics.
The common denominator with Alaska and the Baltics is freedom from oppression and the chance to succeed without fear. That is something worth standing up for.
In Belarus, a military exercise was conducted and was pointed out on this site here.
This is a clear maneuver by Russia to intimidate its neighbors namely Latvia,the Baltics and Eastern Europe.
This provocative move is being done in conjunction with Obama's decision to dismantle plans for the missile defense system in Eastern Europe.
In recent days and weeks after the end of the exercise, blog charter97 stated the following:
Several thousands of Russian solders and officers, who took part in Zapad-2009 manoeuvres in Belarus, haven’t returned to Russia.
Russia is making a slow creep into the region of Belarus and is flexing its muscle to intimidate the Baltics.
History is repeating itself when it comes to Russia and the Baltics.
Moreover, Russia flexing its muscle is being done to split NATO and use its influence over countries like Latvia who have sent troops to Afghanistan and have done so willingly.
There is a subversive attempt by Russia to degrade our abilities in Afghanistan while on the face, showing to the public, support.
As pointed out previously, there are some in the Pentagon who advocate bombing Iran.
But with McChrystal's plan, American troops and NATO troops will be in harms way from a possible retaliation from Iran with chemical weapons if we did attack Iran.
I stated that the change in Obama's stance to increase troops would be used as an excuse to not bomb Iran.
And it is clear that the talking points from the left will be changing to an increase in troop levels with the intent of nation building not destroying the Taliban or Al Qaeda.
This was pointed out on another thread that linked an article that was written by the Christian Science Monitor on Code Pink.
When Medea Benjamin stood up in a Kabul meeting hall this weekend to ask Masooda Jalal if she would prefer more international troops or more development funds, the co founder of US antiwar group Code Pink was hoping her fellow activist would support her call for US troop withdrawal.
She was disappointed.
Ms. Jalhal, the former Afghan minister of women, bluntly told her both were needed. "It is good for Afghanistan to have more troops – more troops committed with the aim of building peace and against war, terrorism, and security – along with other resources," she answered. "Coming together they will help with better reconstruction."
Rethinking their position
Code Pink, founded in 2002 to oppose the US invasion of Iraq, is one of the more high-profile women's antiwar groups being forced to rethink its position as Afghan women explain theirs: Without international troops, they say, armed groups could return with a vengeance – and that would leave women most vulnerable.
Bill O'Reilly yesterday, missed this fact and the contradiction when he interviewed CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin.
The focus is misplaced on Afghanistan when it should be placed on stopping Iran.
When you look at the rhetoric and how nations are dealing with Iran, a similar pattern is setting up on how Germany was handled.
If we adopt McChrystal's plan in Afghanistan, Iran will grow in power to where they have full nuclear capabilities.
If you look at the polls, the American people know instinctively, Iran is the threat that needs to be dealt with. Because if Iran falls, then so do the Taliban and the Al Qaeda.