Ambassador Eikenberry's position on more troops for Afghanistan

Not sure this is playing big in the US but it’s been of interest here because:

[li] Eikenberry is the current US ambassador to Afghanistan[/li][li] He was formerly the senior US military commander US in country[/li][li]What he says is directly the opposite of Pentagon advise, and[/li][li]What he says is directly opposed to McChrystal, Gates, et al[/li][/ul]


The military planners have apparently given Obama four strategic options, 40,000 more, 30,000 more, 20,000 more or 10,000 more. But then they would say that, wouldn’t they?

Who else should he be seeking advice from?
Is the ambassador right to offer an alternative vision?

Obama has been saying Karzai needs to clean up the graft. His government is just funneling much of the money to themselves . The whole system is corrupt. He is looking for a partner . The Afghan government does not control much of the country at all. It is an uncomfortable relationship that may result in a waste of American tax money and American lives.
Obama is correct to question the wisdom of continuing the mess when ten percent of American military expense is giving money to the Taliban to protect American supply lines. How big a waste does it have to be before we just quit being stupid . The US taxpayer is funding the Taliban.

But isn’t that Karzai thing a smokescreen - the issue is al-Queda isn’t it. Or are we still pretending it’s about democracy and girls skipping their way to school?

The letter from that resigned administator made clear what anyone who has know Afghanis knows, and that’s that the population outside Kabul does not want to governed by a system and people they don’t recognise. Village elders, sure, district council, maybe, but that’s about it. That’s the nub of the armed resistence now, not some fundamentalist doctrine but the right to self-govenment in a context the people understand.

Anyway, most people must surely understand more troops is the military and conventional imperial solution, but equally not the answer now in this country. But what the hell is . . . . welcome to Obama’s world, I suspect - South Vietnam circa 1967.

It’s possible that this is a ploy to get concessions from Karzai. The news outlets have been reporting for days now that Obama had decided to send 30k more troops to Afghanistan. Maybe Obama doesn’t want to let him think that he’s home free.

Just a thought. The world of diplomacy is full of leaks and counter leaks, so it’s sometimes hard to find out what is really going on behind all the posturing.

I think the view here is Obama definitely hasn’t decided - 8 very long policy meetings in as many days.