From The Washington Post:
President Obama has asked senior officials for a province-by-province analysis of Afghanistan to determine which regions are being managed effectively by local leaders and which require international help, information that his advisers say will guide his decision on how many additional U.S. troops to send to the battle.
Obama made the request in a meeting Monday with Vice President Biden and a small group of senior advisers helping him decide whether to expand the war. The detail he is now seeking also reflects the administration's turn toward Afghanistan's provincial governors, tribal leaders and local militias as potentially more effective partners in the effort than a historically weak central government that is confronting questions of legitimacy after the flawed Aug. 20 presidential election.
"There are a lot of questions about why McChrystal has identified the areas that he has identified as needing more forces," said a senior military official familiar with the review, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the deliberations candidly. "Some see it as an attempt by the White House to do due diligence on the commander's troop request. A less charitable view is that it is a 5,000-mile screwdriver tinkering from Washington." MORE
Quite frankly this is crazy. Obama assigned McChrystal to handle this region, now he is second guessing the guy all over the place. I don’t see how officials in Washington who never fought a war could possibly know better than the general who is actually on the ground.
To make matters worse, counting on local provinces to do their own policing sounds like a sure fire way to completely lose control of the situation. I could understand Obama’s plan better if the US already had full control of the situation, but we don’t. So giving up control here and there seems like the best way to fracture our over all effort and makes it a whole lot easier for Al Queda to surge further by picking off one province at a time.
Basically Obama is doing everything he can to avoid sending more troops, a move that is sure to anger his base further at a time he needs their support to get his health care agenda through. The whole thing is just a shame.
Via: The Washington Post