President-elect Obama campaigned on a plan to deploy up to 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. But the “incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like ‘surge’ of forces will significantly change the direction” of the conflict. Instead, it hopes that the troops will “buy enough time for the new administration to reappraise the entire Afghanistan war effort and develop a comprehensive new strategy,” the Washington Post reports today.
This week, a coalition of progressive bloggers — spearheaded by Brave New Films (BNF) and The Seminal — are launching a campaign called Get Afghanistan Right. Bloggers will talk about the risks of escalation, the current situation in Afghanistan, the effects of the war domestically, and potential solutions. Robert Greenwald writes:
With the economy continuing a severe decline and the international scene in turmoil, we absolutely cannot afford a hugely expensive troop increase in Afghanistan. The country desperately needs many of the reforms and programs proposed by the incoming Obama administration. But, an escalation in Afghanistan will cripple our ability to mitigate the effects of the recession while making that country less stable. The success of the President-elect’s broader agenda depends on his ability to get us out of President Bush’s wars.
Interviewing The Washington Note’s Steve Clemons on Jan. 8, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow stated, “Maybe there is not a consensus about what to do in Afghanistan. Maybe there is no good war. Watch it:
Speaking about the Bush years, a senior U.S. military commander told the Post, “We have no strategic plan. We never had one.” A retired senior officer with ties to the Obama team added, “One of the problems is you don’t really know what kind of forces, and how many, until you know what strategy you’re going to have.”
Spencer Ackerman has more on the campaign and future Afghanistan policy.