Nathan Hodge, in Afghanistan for Danger Room, reported last week that U.S. officials in Kabul don’t like to refer to the planned near-doubling of civilian
Nathan Hodge, in Afghanistan for Danger Room, reported last week that U.S. officials in Kabul don’t like to refer to the planned near-doubling of civilian advisers to the Afghan government as a “surge,” preferring the term “uplift.” And, you know, whatever. McClatchy’s Nancy Youssef and Warren Strobel have a good update about how it’s going, complete with an Abu Muqawama cameo. While all the focus is on whether Gen. McChrystal will request more U.S. troops, Youssef and Strobel report that he’s going to ask for a bunch more civilians as well:
In addition to requesting some 45,000 additional U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the country’s top American military commander will ask the Obama administration to double the number of U.S. government civilian workers who are in the country.
(Wait, *what? *McClatchy’s saying it’s definite that McChrystal will ask for the full complement of troops that Anthony Cordesman recommended yesterday in a British newspaper? I dunno about this — both Youssef and Strobel are great reporters, but this seems too big a deal to breeze past in an unrelated piece … )
Anyway, the Congressional Research Service, as I mentioned in this piece yesterday, found recently that the Obama administration plans to almost double the civilian component of U.S. officials in Afghanistan to 900 from about 500-and-change. It’s not clear to me whether McClatchy is saying that McChrystal will request more than that. An anonymous official says the total will ultimately be “about 1,000″ civilians. But this is what they’ll do:
The military will move to population centers and wrest control from the Taliban, and civilians will move in afterward to rebuild communities. In many places now, the Taliban not only control areas by force but also have established local courts, government centers and businesses and have run government officials out of their communities.
“Government is the key, and you will see that in General McChrystal’s strategy,” said a senior military official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity because he isn’t authorized to speak to the news media. “If all we achieve is security, then this won’t work.”
There’s a separate question, well covered in the McClatchy piece, about how fast the State Department and other civilian agencies can deploy their people. But has the question been answered about precisely what these civilians will* do?* If U.S. civilians end up establishing mechanisms of governance in areas cleared of Taliban and the Afghan government doesn’t send a larger complement of officials, doesn’t that look to a local a whole lot like, well, foreign domination?
Pentagon Shooter Exploited Gun-Show Loophole
John Patrick Bedell, who shot and wounded two police officers near the Pentagon earlier this month, bought at least one of his 9 mm guns at a Nevada gun show,
MA-Sen: 150 Conservative Bloggers Fan Out, Looking for Scandals
BOSTON -- The mysterious Election Journal blog, which first released the infamous 2008 video of two bumbling New Black Panther Party members waving nightsticks
MA-Sen: Brown Wins
BOSTON -- At 9:20, the first rumors of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race started to work around the room. A moment later, Doug Flutie
MA-Sen: 66 to 19
BOSTON -- That, via Alex Isenstadt and Josh Kraushaar, is the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than anything else. From the primary
MA-Sen: A Text Message From Scott Brown
BOSTON -- Having signed up for Scott Brown’s text message service for election day, I just got this text: Are you about to have lunch? It’s a great time to
MA-Sen: Out-of-Staters for Brown
BOSTON -- A surprising discovery at yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester was just how many people had traveled into the state to assist, in whatever way,
MA-Sen Photos: ‘Paint the Town Red! Croakley’s Dead!’
Below are some photos of yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester, the rally that Brown held to counter-program the Obama rally in Boston. The crush of
Menendez, Lautenberg to Continue BP-Lockerbie Investigation
Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both New Jersey Democrats, will continue to seek details about BP’s alleged involvement in the release last year of
Net Investors Bullish on Palin’s Prospects for Staying on Ticket
Just for fun, the Internet prediction Website Intrade has opened a contract on whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as McCain’s running mate.
No Experience Necessary
Gov. Sarah Palin’s a middle-class hockey mom, but does that really qualify her to be vice president?