Afghanistan Mission Creep Watch - The Cordesman/Biddle/West Version
Posted by Michael Cohen
The United States should send up to 45,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, a senior adviser to the American commander in Kabul has told The Times.
Anthony Cordesman, an influential American academic who is a member of a team that has been advising General Stanley McChrystal, now in charge of Nato forces in Afghanistan, also said that to deal with the threat from the Taleban the size of the Afghan National Army might have to increase to 240,000.
This seems at pace with what we're hearing from Stephen Biddle, who was also a member of McChrystal's review team:
And folks wonder why I call this feature the Afghanistan Mission Creep Watch. If McChrystal is listening to Biddle and Cordesman - and if the President is listening to McChrystal -- we are going to be in Afghanistan for not years, but potentially decades. This point, by the way, was reinforced by General Sir David Richards, who is about to become head of the British Army. He said recently that "Britain’s commitment to Afghanistan could last between 30 and 40 years, although he envisaged that troops would have to stay only for the medium term." I'm assuming medium term is 15-20 years. The fixation that otherwise intelligent military and foreign policy analysts have with Afghanistan is growing larger than my meager ability to comprehend. One would think from reading these quotes that the US and UK has never protected its interests in any manner other than that of military occupation.
And the cherry on top of all this comes from the always enjoyable Bing West:
Yes, this is definitely a serious danger facing the United States - that we won't be generous enough to support progress in Afghanistan.