ABC's Martha Raddatz reports: Among three different troop options currently before the President and his national security team, General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, as first reported here, favors the middle option, which recommends an increase of some 40,000 more troops. A source familiar with the document says that’s the minimum McChrystal believes is needed for a chance for success in Afghanistan.
Although the debate is really about the middle option, there is a much higher number included in the McChrystal options.
Other sources who have seen the request say the high number of troops requested is 80,000.
Even if President Obama goes with the "middle option" of 40,0000 more troops, without a draft, from where, and how quickly, can these troops be found, with this country's current military commitments already overstressed with current deployments?
When an unwinnable war becomes the focus of machismo and pride on the part of any national leader, things can go from really awful to spectacularly bad in a heartbeat, and that appears to be what is going on here.
The US is supporting a government so collectively crooked here that most Afghans believe the members of that government have to screw their socks on in the morning.
The heroin traffic is booming (something that did not, thank you very much, happen under the rule of the Taliban).
The Afghans want their country back. They understand that what has been going on now for the last 8 years has been an occupation. Given the current state of things, those pipelines originally planned by the previous administration to control Eurasian oil, are not going to get built.
So what now?
We exit Afghanistan as quickly as possible in the way that keeps our troops as safe as possible, under the circumstances.
We negotiate with whatever government is left standing about the pipeline routes, and get that done.
Invasion and occupation is never "cheaper" than a negotiation to achieve specific geopolitical outcomes.
One has to wish that those in power in this country weren't so damned pathologically incapable of learning from the lessons of history.