You put your surge troops here you put your surge troops there you put your surge troops here and you shake them all about, you do the Hokey Pokey and you move the troops around, that’s what it’s all about.
On November 22, the UK Independent reported here that the Taliban now have resumed control of most of Afghanistan and a think-tank says that the NATO force in the country will need to be doubled to cope with their resurgence. Current NATO troop levels in Afghanistan total approximately 40,000 troops so doubling would mean another 40,000 troops totaling 80,000 troops.
Coincidentally, the Iraq surge, which has temporarily reduced violence levels in Iraq but failed in its primary purpose, providing a respite so a political solution could be enacted, totaled 30,000 troops. These troops will now likely need to be redeployed to Afghanistan to provide a surge in the worsening situation there. No, no one has come forth and said any of this yet, but the Bush administration is not going to have a choice. Either they can cede Afghanistan to the Taliban or they will have to send the additional troops.
When the troops are redeployed and resurged to Afghanistan, they will confront a situation not only where the Taliban are becoming stronger and reasserting control, they are confronting a situation where the Taliban are becoming more popular and in some cases the preferred leadership choice in one or more Afghan provinces. This article from the UK Independent talks about how Afghans the Independent interviewed back in April said they prefer Taliban control because they feel safer under the Taliban.
Since there is no political solution in Iraq, the chances are good that as soon as the surge troops are redeployed to Afghanistan, violence in Iraq will increase again. This administration has put our foreign policy and troops into a terrible no-win situation in two countries where violence is only temporarily controlled with the influx of massive and unsustainable numbers of US troops.
The GOP has been spending most of the last few months trying to convince everyone that our Iraq policy is a success because the surge has reduced violence levels in Iraq. Republicans know that this is a lie of omission designed to obfuscate the political failures in Iraq that mark the entire war there as a failure.
The Democratic congress, along with much of the country and world, realizes that our Iraq and Afghanistan policies are failures, but seems powerless to affect changes against the Bush Presidential Veto and other Republican maneuverings. The latest Bush threat is that if the Democrats wield the power of the purse to stop one or both wars and bring home the troops, the administration will take it out on 100,000+ civilian federal employees who they will furlough or layoff in retaliation. They intend to go public and claim that if/when the Democrats cut off funding for the war, the government could no longer afford to pay these employees. The Democratic congress, timid as it is already to confront the administration on its Iraq policy, may again feel forced to back down because of this threat.
All of this is happening simultaneously with a reminder of the shady manner the Bush administration sold the Iraq war in the first place with the revelations of former Press Secretary Scott McClellan that he was intentionally sent out to lie to the public in the Plame-gate scandal.The Republican Party has become a rotting putrid carcass of a political entity. They and their President are happy to send forth our troops into and have them do the Hokey Pokey back and forth between twin meat-grinders. They are happy to lie about it and threaten the firing of innocents as long as it prevents the revelation of the failures of these polices during the tenure of the current administration. Bush, Cheney and anyone in the administration involved in any of this should be impeached and removed from office. Any Republican legislator lying to the American people about the supposed successes of the surge should be brought before the House or Senate ethics committees. The troops are not pawns of a failed administration and its congressional lackeys. They deserve better than that. The troops in Iraq and should be brought home right away and our Afghanistan policies should undergo a complete review to determine what it is we are trying to do there, what would constitute success and if it is achievable and consistent with the desires of the Afghan people. We should not continue this administration's policies of failure.