So thank you Senator Levin for giving a speech about sending more U.S. troops to the middle east. If you remember though, the United States already has been using UAV's to attack the terrorists hiding on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Also, if President Obama does choose to send more troops to the region I highly dought (if history has anything to say about it) Congress will not give him the money.
While most members of Congress have come out against another troop surge, Senators Lieberman, Graham, and McCain wrote an Op-Ed in today's WSJ about why they think President Obama should send more troops. They say:
We went to war there because the 9/11 attacks were a direct consequence of the safe haven given to al Qaeda in that country under the Taliban. We remain at war because a resurgent Taliban, still allied with al Qaeda, is trying to restore its brutal regime and re-establish that country as a terrorist safe haven.
It remains a clear, vital national interest of the United States to prevent this from happening. Yet an increasing number of commentators, including some of the very same individuals who opposed the surge in Iraq and called for withdrawal there, now declare Afghanistan essentially unwinnable. Had their view prevailed with respect to Iraq in 2006 and 2007, the consequences of our failure there would have been catastrophic.
There's an important difference though between Iraq and Afghanistan. The Taliban relies on Afghanistan for funding its operation through the poppy fields growing in the country and are willing to defend it at any cost. We have already seen the intensity of the fighting increase over the months since President Obama originally sent additional troops to Afghanistan. The Taliban are also in areas where they have an advantage because of those tall poppy plants and mud walls in the area which can be used for defense and surprise attacks.
The New York Times reported today that Zbigniew Brezinki said American and allied forces are being preceived as invaders (not liberators) which give more political capitol to the Taliban and enable the organization to recruit more members.
Some people are arguing that there is no reason for American forces to be their anymore. But the fact remains America went in their with a declaration that we would help the Afghan people recover from the regime America and its allies took out. Leaving them now would be irresponsible and only create more terrorists in the future. Since the Taliban is so reliant on Afghanistan there's a realy good chance to do important damage to its infrastructure.
The fact still remains though if the terrorists are going to be defeated, it will not only be won on the military front but also the political. It's starting to look like the elections were tampered with in favor of President Karzai.
The best thing the allied forces can do right now is put pressure on the Afghan government to take care of its people, or the troops will be pulled out. Also, to show (not tell) the Afghans we are on their side, the State Department should help them build schools and other facilities that are needed for their society to thrive.
So as healthcare is something that needs to be reformed for America's future, so does the war in Afghanistan. People remember how you treat them, and if we leave the Afghans stranded, there will be consequences in the future.