How bad is the Afghan insurgency? What will it take to roll it back? During his confirmation hearing to become U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Eikenberry
How bad is the Afghan insurgency? What will it take to roll it back?
During his confirmation hearing to become U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Eikenberry gives a standard answer. It’s going to require “additional commitment of U.S. and importantly NATO forces into eastern and southern Afghanistan.” Also “faster and further” training and equipping Afghan police and soldiers so they can “hold where NATO forces go.” Then a “coordinated regional approach with Pakistan.” He says that he and Ron Neumann, who previously held the ambassadorship, in 2006 started to request additional resources, including “a fairly significant” bolstering of the training program for the army, “but it was insufficient.”
He gingerly criticizes the Pakistani military and the intelligence service, the ISI, for supporting the insurgency historically. “Since that time it’s been unclear if all elements of the ISI have dropped their support for the Taliban and their extremist allies.” Eikenberry praises the tripartite talks that Secretary Clinton has set up with the Afghans and Pakistanis for setting up a mechanism to address this.
Why will the Afghan people reject al-Qaeda and the Taliban leadership, especially when some of those Taliban leadership “may be coincident with many people in Afghanistan?” Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) asks. What will it take to secure their buy-in? “Still today, every poll will show that 90 percent of the people firmly reject Taliban,” Eikenberry says. “But while they reject that totally, they need a secure alternative provided for them. If coerced without any alternative, they will side with the Taliban.” It’ll take three aspects, particularly in the south: “We have to be able to secure the Afghan people.” It’s not just more troops, it’s what they’ll do: population-centric counterinsurgency. Then, without the rule of law, “security sits on no foundation.” Finally, “trying to get the rural economy developed” so the Afghans “have a middle ground of civil society that Afghans can stand upon, and if they have that, they will defend it.”
Spoken like a COINdinista.
$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV
The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.
Army Data Shows Constraints on Troop Increase Potential
If President Obama orders an additional 30,000 to 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, he will be deploying practically every available U.S. Army brigade to war, leaving few units in reserve in case of an unforeseen emergency and further stressing a force that has seen repeated combat deployments since 2002.
1. Brian Schweitzer
As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this
$1.3 Million for Brown
The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul
$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds
Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal
#1 in Conspiracy Theories
Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy
1 Brigade and 1 Battalion
ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the
$1 Million for Toomey
Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the
1. Lindsey Graham
Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) is typically regarded as a reliable vote for his party, but he took the bold step of breaking with his fellow Republicans to join Kerry
Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban
Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on
Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry
China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.