Not Enough Troops in Afghanistan

September 18, 2008 at 10:13 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

There’s more nuggets in the piece about Gates having to apologize for civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

Gates’ unusual apology followed a frank assessment from the top military commander in Afghanistan: There aren’t enough U.S. ground forces in Afghanistan, so the military is relying more heavily on air power. Air power runs a greater risk of civilian deaths in a country where insurgents do not wear uniforms and they intentionally mix with the general population.
Gen. David McKiernan, the commander of international forces in Afghanistan, had said earlier that the chronic shortage of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is forcing commanders to rely more on air combat. U.S. airstrikes that kill civilians have angered and embarrassed the U.S.-backed Afghan government, and Karzai has been bitterly critical of such attacks.

Why don’t we have enough troops in Afghanistan? Oh yeah…Iraq. What is that forcing us to do? To use air power. What does air power do? Increase civilian casualties. What does an increase in civilian casualties do to a counterinsurgency? Com’on you military folks, you ought to know the answer…

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