NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer appealed Tuesday for more troops from outside the United States to be sent to Afghanistan to prevent it from again becoming a “safe haven” for terrorists.
One doesn't know whether to laugh, or cry at this statement.
Apparently, NATO Chief De Hoop Scheffer has managed to have selective amnesia about what was necessary to carry out a successful occupation of this country.
The US's own military protocol indicates that we needed about 500,000 soldiers on the ground to do this correctly. What we will have, even with the enhanced troop strength Obama is talking about, will be only a pitiful fraction of that.
Secondly, (and this is something De Hoop Scheffer might have read in his military history books, had he been paying attention), you cannot, absolutely cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air.
What the massive air strikes guarantee are two things. First, you're going to kill women, kids, the elderly, and the medically fragile, along with the people you actually want to kill.
And this will simply radicalize those left standing against the Karzai government.
This is a had and stark lesson that both the US and NATO should have learned from the outcome of the Viet Nam War: it is obvious to any thinking person that they have not.
At the end of the day, there are basically two options left; carpet-bomb the place, declare victory, and go home, or negotiate with the Taliban, give them a seat at the table, declare victory, and go home.
But those are the only two options left at this point. The smarter thing would have never, ever to have gone into this country in the first place, to collectively punish people who had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, but simply had the most viable pipeline routes.
The cost for the West was just too high when the Taliban were in power, so during that summer when all we heard was "Gary Condit, all the time, on all the TV stations, the US was quietly telling its allies that it was going to invade Afghanistan, and take the pipeline routes by force. The stage had already been set for this action earlier that year. Take a look at the date from this Australian Broadcasting Corporation article
"The noose closes around the Taliban"
"NATO chief George Robertson has tonight announced that the US has provided proof of Osama bin Laden's involvement in last month's terrorist attacks. He says NATO members can now invoke Article Five -- the mutual defence clause, which says an attack from abroad on any ally, is an attack on them all."
"The move comes as the British PM gets ready to declare that military action in Afghanistan is now inevitable. In less than an hour Mr Blair will tell his Labour Party conference that the Taliban's time is up."