To Increase Or Not To Increase?
October 21, 2009 1 Comment
While a host of argle-bargles brewing up in Pakistan including the security condition, economy problem and so forth — the House of Representatives of United States on the other side of the oceans is ambivalent whether to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan or not.
Anything and everything that happens in Afghanistan always has some connection with Pakistan. The impact of the troops increasing strategy is, besides, a pressure on the Pakistan Army fighting a hot war against the miscreants on the Western borders. Pakistani Army isn’t only fighting with the miscreants at such godforsaken places, besides they do have to be vigilant in regards with the NATO forces attacking across the border in Pakistan trigger-happily and in some cases NATO forces give a leeway to Talibans to cross the border and get inside Afghanistan without being caught. Double-games.
While the debate and disputation in the House of Representatives is going on, it made me think to study the possible alternatives over the strategy of increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan.
The last president of United States, George Bush, and the incumbent president of United States, Obama — both have had the similar stratgies concerning Afghanistan particularly. George Bush bankrolled the war and US led NATO to a considerable extent. It was the time when United States was consuming the 25% of the Earth’s resources alone — which is a phenomenal quantity. United States is still consuming near to 25% of the Earth’s resources, whereas many countries in the world are suffering from extreme indigence.
In 1959, when the Vietnam war started and John F. Kennedy became the President of United States in 1960, he faced the same situation of dealing a war in Vietnam which Obama is facing in Afghanistan contemporary. But Kennedy was a wise man — a statesman — who never considered the professional military advise as persuasive since the time he faced an acrimonious experience once. Kennedy had his reasons not to do so. While he faced a humiliating defeat at the Bay of Pigs, in a hope to dismantle the Castro’s government in Cuba on the advise of his military generals and CIA officials, Kennedy committed himself never to be overawed by professional military advice. Hence, Kennedy learnt a lesson.
In 1961, many of Kennedy’s Generals and advisors argued with Kennedy to increase the number of troops in South Vietnam and save the South Vietnamese government from collapsing. Kennedy, however, categorically refused the idea of increasing the number of troops. He already had the embarrassing experience during the “Bay of Pigs” episode when he paid heed to CIA and his Generals and faced international humiliation. The wise man favored a strategy of arming and reinforcing the South Vietnamese Army, and of teaching them new counterinsurgency tactics instead of increasing the number of troops. This strategy worked well. It couldn’t have been better than this. At the time of Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, the Pentagon had recorded only 108 American military personnel killed.
In Afghanistan, the deaths of US led NATO forces, to-date, has reached to 1500, out of which 900 is US servicemen. Whereas in Iraq, US has faced the number of 4351 fatalities to-date.
Today, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top American commander in Afghanistan, has asked for 40,000 to 60,000 more troops in Afghanistan, while the number of NATO forces in Afghanistan, today, is near to 70,000 out of which US forces comprise of 23 Battalion while other NATO forces comprise of 20 Battalion — keeping in mind that a single Battalion contain 1000-1500 servicemen.
As I was discussing with an American friend on the relevant subjects, I agreed to her that every once in a while, United States has a leader like Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King, Jr. These leaders and everyday citizens keep this nation going more or less in a good direction internally. Further we discussed and agreed to it that it’s very hard to reel in the actions of those who make their living interfering in other countries business — talking about the CIA and similar organizations. These agencies have become self-perpetuating entities unto themselves. CIA isn’t answerable to the Constitution of United States of America. They do not answer to the people of the United States. Only the President can control them — and if the President goes up against them and tries to shut them down, I’m afraid, as she said, that they might turn on him (or her) and assassinate the President. That’s what happened to Kennedy.
The more we try to bomb our way to peace and prosperity, the more stupid and warlike we become. And when our military (or any military) “regrets the loss of innocent life” I ask, whose life is NOT innocent? We are all innocent.
We can just anticipate to see Obama playing his cards well. The Nobel Peace Prize he has been honored with, of late — at least on the name of it respect the humanity.