As Washington is swept up in a frenzy following the president’s Iraq policy speech, it’s a relief to know that not everyone is oblivious to the disturbing fact that things are really, really looking bad for Afghanistan:
“I wish we were discussing additional troops for Afghanistan. We are hearing increasingly troubling reports out of Afghanistan and we will be searching for accurate information about the true state of affairs both militarily and politically,”
In reality, odds are stacked against sending more troops to Afghanistan in the near future, and Sen. Clinton’s position may not actually be a “push” for a “troop surge” there as much as dictated by the need to respond to the president’s Iraq policy speech as she postures as a front-runner for ’08 elections. All the same it should have the effect of calling some attention to the situation in Afghanistan and keeping it from sliding off the stage (it has already been pushed out of the limelight.)
What is more likely to happen in Afghanistan is a decrease in troop numbers, as some NATO members pull out forces in the face of mounting political pressures at home (e.g. Spain.) At best the US will maintain its current troop levels. Instead, we may witness a change in tactics on part of the coalition forces (going after top Taliban leadership for instance, and should Pakistan come under the requisit international pressure and concede, possible cross-border aerial attacks on proven Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan) -and an enlarged role for ANA troops.
(P.S. this author too has been swept up with a number of projects as of late and apologizes to the regulars of this blog for irregular updates.)