Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

The Extended Surge: ’18 Months’ vs. ’18 to 24 Months’

Here’s a point that might have gotten lost in the shuffle yesterday during coverage of the marathon Afghanistan testimony from Secretaries Clinton and Gates and

William Willis
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Dec 03, 2009

Here’s a point that might have gotten lost in the shuffle yesterday during coverage of the marathon Afghanistan testimony from Secretaries Clinton and Gates and Adm. Mullen. The biggest inflection point in President Obama’s West Point speech was the line where he expressed what U.S. and allied troops, broadly speaking, will be doing during Phase One of the strategy: “We will pursue a military strategy that will break the Taliban’s momentum and increase Afghanistan’s capacity over the next 18 months.”

I considered that important enough to use it as my marquee quote. In other words, during that period, the U.S. mission in Afghanistan becomes one of diminishing insurgent capacity while strengthening Afghan capacity, instantiated in a variety of ways. The Obama administration believes that will require a U.S. troop presence of around 100,000 for the mission. Eighteen months, the president said.

A**fter that period, the mission pivots. It doesn’t change, and it definitely doesn’t change overnight, but it pivots: Afghan capacity is supposed to be improved relative to the insurgency’s so that, in a graduated fashion, the Afghans begin to take the lead for Afghan security. That begins in July 2011.

Unless it doesn’t. While President Obama stressed eighteen months as the span of Phase One, Gates and Mullen had a different perspective: they said *18 to 24 months *would be the time span to “turn this insurgency around,” in Mullen’s phrase. Then, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff continued, “that will in turn provide an opportunity to get at the kind of transition, in terms of security responsibility and thinning of our forces, if you will, to start that.”

To be very clear: Gates, Mullen and Clinton all endorsed, embraced and defended the July 2011 timetable. And the flexibility Obama outlined at West Point that the strategy contains is commensurate with an assessment that the U.S.-led momentum-breaking phase of the campaign can and probably will last beyond July 2011. But it’s significant that the Pentagon leaders added the caveat that the “extended surge” of 30,000 troops could well last for two years. No one should expect significant U.S. withdrawals of troops in July 2011, or even shortly thereafter.

There’s another round of testimony this morning with the three officials in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, followed by yet another in the House Armed Services Committee this afternoon. Let’s see if Gates, Clinton or Mullen clarifies the timeline any further.

William Willis | William Willis is a freelance writer and social media manager who specializes in assisting finance professionals and Fintech entrepreneurs in growing their online audience and attracting more paying customers. William worked as a bank teller and virtual assistant for financial firms in the United States and the United Kingdom for six years before beginning her writing career. William is a strong force in the workplace, inspiring others to work hard and excel with her optimistic attitude and boundless energy. He enjoys hiking, crocheting, and playing video games with her grandchildren in her spare time.

Related

Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response

Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen

Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)

One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh

Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment

In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep

Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!

The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the

Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’

Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday

Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight

Source: Flickr; Republicanconference (www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference) On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight

Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs

Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability

Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store

Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public

Rep. Pete Stark Won’t Dignify Constituent by, er, Micturating Upon His Leg

In the tradition of Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), California Democratic Rep. Pete Stark revealed at a recent town hall gathering that there are limits to what

© Copyright 2022 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com

Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.