Over 100 coalition troops KIA in June. Big shakeup in Generals. Or, in general. McChrystal out, Petraeus back in.
Petraeus says he not only supports President Obama's strategy but that he also agrees with it. Elsewhere, he's also said that he expects us to be needed there for a very long time.
Kinda flies in the face of the notion of withdrawing troops come July 2011. To those in certain circles, that means perhaps reducing the number from 96K+ to perhaps 65K+.
To most Americans who only casually think about the "A-word" today, I'd bet that means reducing troops to zero K.
Just read that flareups in the north have spread the conflict areas from the traditional south around the Pakistan border. Afghanistan is tough to negotiate with very few roads and almost no infrastructure. Rich in mineral wealth but no way to get there to get it out.
Same way we have to evacuate casualties and bodies: helicopters.
I came across this pre-school play structure last month. A helicopter with two seats in the cockpit, two more teeter-totter fashion on the outside. They sorta look like machine gun mounts, side mounts for rockets and gattling guns.
Might as well get the youngsters ready for their future mission while they're still in pre-school. 'Cuz until we get a government in Afghanistan that isn't corrupt from top to bottom, and until we get enough infrastructure in place for the country to actually maintain and control itself as anything more than tribal enclaves, the conditions for "peace with honor**" might not exist within our lifetimes.
(**NOTE: See President Richard M. Nixon and Vietnam for the antecedent of peace with honor.)
And the pre-schoolers of today may very well be serving there as helicopter door gunners when they're 21. Well, some of 'em anyway.
Lord knows all of 'em will be paying for it. 'Cuz we sure don't have the money to do it today and simultaneously do the things that need doing in our country right now. We're all worried about deficits now but not about the hole we're digging in Afghanistan. A choice we've made. Yeah, I know. Economic growth was always supposed to cover it all.
Just like your income will ALWAYS increase every year, right? Even when you're old and disabled...
How'd this all happen, anyway?
Pray for enlightenment.