Get Rethink Afghanistan Updates
Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter Get E-Mail Updates
You can help

Haass: Let’s Un-Surge in Afghanistan

Posted by The Agonist on December 21st, 2010

From our partners at The Agonist

Richard N Haass | Dec 20

WSJThe current policy is diverting scarce military resources when threats like Iran and North Korea loom. We can prevent the return of al Qaeda with far fewer troops.

The Obama administration has completed its third review in two years of U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan. It argues the current approach is making progress, with success defined as building up Afghan national army and police forces until they can hold their own against a Taliban that is being weakened by ongoing combat. Some officials also believe that several more years of military pressure will persuade many Taliban fighters to switch sides rather than fight.

There are good reasons to be skeptical. While the situation on the ground in Afghanistan should improve in areas where U.S. military forces are operating in strength, the gains are likely to fade in the wake of their departure. The inherent weakness of central government institutions in Afghanistan, the tenacity of the Taliban and their ties to Afghanistan’s many Pashtuns, and the reality that the Taliban will continue to enjoy a sanctuary in neighboring Pakistan all work against what we seek to achieve.

It is possible that doubters will be proven wrong. But the more fundamental problem with the policy depends less on its prospects than its costs and benefits. What the United States is doing in Afghanistan is not justified even if the policy succeeds.

The costs of the policy are considerable. There are just under 100,000 U.S. troops in the country. This year alone nearly 500 American soldiers have lost their lives. Ten times that many suffered casualties. It is costing U.S. taxpayers between $100 billion and $125 billion a year. The commitment is tying down a significant portion of military and intelligence assets, and it is absorbing significant time and energy of U.S. officials in Washington and abroad.

Share this:
Peacemakers take action to lead the charge to end the war. Join forces with the over 100,000 people who make a difference.
FACT SHEETS

BLOG POSTS FROM DERRICK CROWE
BLOG POSTS FROM ROBERT GREENWALD
RECENT POSTS

SEARCH THE BLOG
Subscribe via RSS
Become a Peacemaker



Bronze Telly Award
QUESTIONS
For general questions, email us here.
For technical issues regarding this site, contact us here.

PRESS

For Press inquiries, please contact Kim at: bravenewfoundation.press@gmail.com



CREDITS
Director: Robert Greenwald - Executive Director: Jim Miller - Producer: Jason Zaro - Associate Producer: Dallas Dunn, Jonathan Kim, and Kim Huynh - Researcher: Greg Wishnev - Editor: Phillip Cruess - Political Director: Leighton Woodhouse - VP Marketing & Distribution: Laura Beatty - Production Assistant: Monique Hairston

LEGAL
Anyone is allowed to post content on this site, but Brave New Foundation 501(c)(3) is not responsible for that content. We will, however, remove anything unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, racist, or that contains other material that would violate the law. By posting you agree to this.





Brave New Foundation | 10510 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232