Friday, April 3, 2009

More Af/Pak news

"The situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan is ''increasingly dire,'' top defense officials told Congress Wednesday, and they said that President Barack Obama may have to send another 10,000 troops beyond the 21,500 he has announced since taking office. Michele Flournoy, the undersecretary of defense for policy, said the administration hasn't yet developed benchmarks to measure progress, but she predicted high human and financial costs for the U.S. in the campaign against Islamic militants in the two countries. Adding to the bleak picture, Army Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, expressed doubts about the reliability of Pakistani security forces in supporting the U.S. effort to curb the spread of Islamic extremism in South Asia. Petraeus conceded that the Pakistanis have betrayed America's trust in the past. He said, however, that the U.S. must show its commitment to the region, saying: ''It is important the U.S. be seen as a reliable ally.'' He said the military may need to send 10,000 more troops than the number Obama already has announced, and a decision must be made in the fall."

Let's review.

We're going to have a 50,000 troop permanent "residual force" in Iraq.

We're going to have up to 31,500 troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan, before we develop benchmarks to measure progress, notwithstanding projected "high human and financial costs", notwithstanding "doubts about the reliability of Pakistani security forces" and notwithstanding "that the Pakistanis have betrayed America's trust in the past".

Of course, William Kristol, Robert Kagan and other leading neoconservatives think this is a great plan. So, who are we to judge?

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