Speaking at a press conference during his unannounced visit to Kabul, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates assured that the US would remain in Afghanistan for “several years,” expressing hope that a gradual change in the troops’ role to supporting the Afghan military could begin in “three years or two years or four years.”
Even then the US is looking at bankrolling the Afghan military for decades, Gates conceded. The nation’s security forces have been grown to such an unweildy size that the small, impoverished nation will not be able to sustain it themselves for decades, if ever.
But if Gates’ timetable is spanning decades, Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s is surprisingly short. The general predicts that there will be “significant progress” by next December, and that by July 2011, it will be “unequivocally clear” that the US is winning.
McChrystal’s optimism comes in spite of previous predictions during the last several escalations that quick progress would be made, progress which never materialized as the war got worse and worse.
It does however underscore the disconnect between comments made by officials meant for domestic consumption (Gen. McChrystal testifying in Congress) and comments made on the international scene.
7 thoughts on “Gates Eyes ‘Several Years’ of War in Afghanistan”
Bernard Lewis's dicta that the "West" (US/Israel principally) is committed to "war with no end" against primarely Muslims whether they be in Asia, Africa, the Middle East or North Africa.
Thus predictions by US Generals and or disconnects in statements are basically a convenience. Where's the logic to accept that the US will eventually "leave" Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and its bases in the Middle East if it still maintains thousands of its military in Korea, Japan, Germany, Italy, etc,. etc.six decades after WWII ended.
Without presuming to be a forecaster of sorts its safe to comment that come 2069 there will still be US miltary presence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and probably too in Somalia, Sudan and or two others too.
If the War Party had its druthers, we'd have troops in every country indefinitely. The reality is that we're broke. When the dollar collapses, and it will, the gig is up. Supply lines will dry up. Soldiers won't get paid. No money, no empire. Americans will face a significantly lower standard of living, but the neo-con driven superpower madness will stop.
"McCrystal's Optimism" – as Sophocles said some 2000 years ago: "It is the merit of a general to impart good news and to conceal the truth" – in other words, to LIE! Our generals and admirals today are all politicians who LIE with the best LIARS that we have in our Congress. The US is the new Rome – more powerful than the old Rome – so say the Neocons. BUT – the old Rome, along with ALL empires, is dust on the pages of History, which is where the U.S. is headed. Sun Tsu (author of The Art of War) said it for the ages: "There is no instance of a country having benefitted by prolonged warfare." Afghanistan is "the graveyard of empires and of soldiers." Does "winning" in Afghanistan mean that Big Oil can then safely build that pipeline through that country? – the real reason for the U.S. being there!
I am very worried and also confused by the war. On one hand I think that it's a total disaster and is never going to end. But on the other I'm hearing that there is headway being made and that we need to support the troops.
Don't over think things Karen. There is no headway being made because the people responsible for the war don't even know where they're headed. Also, supporting the troops means what to you? I'm not trying to be rude, but let's say you want to support the troops, what are you going to do? Put a ribbon on your car? Send a flak jacket?
The heafway = need 30,000 morre US troops to win over barefooted cave dwellers.
The TAPI Pipeline = T is for Turkmenistan; A is for Afghanistan; P is for Pakistan and I is for India..
Turkmenistan is home to vast gas fields most all of them owned by an Isreali citizen who got control of them after the breakup of the Soviet Union. (Turkmenistan like several other "stan" used to be part of the USSR). The pipeline is to be financed by the Asia Development Bank and its prime purpose is to deliver gas to India.
As a veteran one is always reminded of the results in Vietnam of what "supporting the troops" can mean. The names and numbers are plain for everyone to see in Washington, DC.
There would be a lot less life's lost and expense, if the people of the United States would invade Washington DC.
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