Galbraith Opposes Escalation in Afghanistan
Monday, October 05, 2009 at 4:05 pm
ThinkProgress has the video from “Good Morning America,” in which the ousted deputy U.N. special representative to Afghanistan says that the stolen election has unmoored U.S. strategy for Afghanistan to such a point that increasing troop levels doesn’t make sense. TP’s transcript:
In the absence of having a credible Afghan partner … it makes no sense to ramp up. On the other hand we cannot afford to pull out. … At this point, no surge. … [W]e also don’t have unlimited resources and unless those troops can secure an area in a way that then Afghan partners, the government, the Afghan army, the Afghan police can come in and fill in after them, we’re going to be there as an occupying force for a very long time and that to me doesn’t make sense.
That’s been a critique — if not necessarily a prescription — endorsed by, among other people, Andrew Exum of the Center for a New American Security, one of the advisers to Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s strategy review. And it’s at the heart of the current White House debate over changing strategy. Cue the speculation about whether Galbraith was trying to influence the administration’s decision making on behalf of someone in the White House meetings.
I also notice that the chyron used by Diane Sawyer in this clip is “Surge Or Leave?” Absolutely no one within the Obama administration is arguing that the U.S. needs to leave Afghanistan. Galbraith’s substantive recommendations are closest to those of Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who has not ruled out a counterinsurgency strategy and leans most heavily on more Afghan troops to prosecute it.
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