Eikenberry weighs in on Afghanistan

At the risk of giving some of my readers a heart attack, I’m going to cite a Fox News article, because I think it provides the best summation I’ve found yet.

It
has been reported that the US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl
Eikenberry, has expressed to the President serious reservations about
sending additional troops to Afghanistan to bolster a government seen
as corrupt and illegitimate by many.

Retired Lt. Gen. Eikenberry
is no State Department wallflower, though.  His appointment was
considered unusual because he was a career Army officer.  He once held
the job that Gen. McChrystal does now and previously helped stand up
Afghanistan’s first reconstituted army corps.  During the Bush
Administration, General Eikenberry was a staunch advocate of increasing
troop levels in Afghanistan to meet the “resurgent” Taliban fighting
force and fought to prevent a planned troop reduction in 2005.

Given the recent resignation of Matthew Hoh,
an OIF Marine combat veteran, from the Foreign Service over similar
concerns, the last thing we should do now is rush into a decision with
such grave consequences.  I’ll note that both Eikenberry and senior
administration adviser Richard Holbrooke offered Hoh a job on their
respective staffs because they could not find fault with most of what
Hoh had to say.

When men like Eikenberry and Hoh, with their
experience and knowledge, are telling us that an Iraq-style surge in
Afghanistan might not work and that our strategic best interests are
not being served, we should be listening.  Unless we have clearly
stated goals in the country with an equally clear strategy for
achieving them, Afghanistan will foil us just as it did the British and
the Soviets before.

Cross-posted at A World With No Boundaries.

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