“Support Expected for Plan To Beef Up Afghan Forces” (TIMES, 1/17/11)


          The expectation to expand Afghanistan’s “army and police forces to up to 378,000 personnel by October 2012” sounds like a pipe dream, given the history of such efforts in the decade since the U.S. invasion.

          The optimistic figures quted in the article are numbers on a page, not bodies on the ground. The Afghan government, with the help of its “international partners,” can round up some of that number, but giving them adequate training and keeping them loyal to the Kabul government is another matter altogether.

          When the going gets tough , many of these recruits will get going; under duress, battalions will become companies and companies will become platoons. Often the desserters will take their valuable equipment along with them when they go AWOL, thus serving as the supply units of the insurgents.

          Meanwhile, “1443 American service members …have died as a part of the Afghan war and related operations.” It is all there in the pages of your newspaper. If your editorial staff would just connnect the dots, a clearpicture of the actual stiuations woud be revealed to your readers.

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