Last March, President Obama, stating that the fight in Afghanistan was the front-line in the war on terror, appointed General Stanley McChrystal to evaluate the situation in that country and draft a successful plan of attack. Seven months later, General McChrystal has done just that. While the exact report has not yet been released, some details have been leaked to the public. And the information is distressing.
According to General McChrystal, we are on the verge of losing the war in Afghanistan. The Taliban is making dramatic strides in recruitment and the porous Pakistani border is allowing terrorists to come in to the country on a daily basis. McChrystal states that time is of the essence in order to “reverse the negative trends and demonstrate progress” in the country. He has requested additional troops for the area – some estimate his formal request will ask for up to 30,000 additional troops – and has stated that we must increase our activity or risk losing the war altogether. However, rather than listen to the advice of General McChrystal, whom he handpicked to implement the strategy in Afghanistan, President Obama has announced that he will review McChrystal’s report along with other suggestions before determining a strategy for Afghanistan.
I appreciate that the president is in a tight spot. The left wing of his party is opposed to the war and he most certainly feels pressure from them to do so. However, national security should not be used as a political ploy and we cannot put our brave men and women serving in the Armed Forces at an even greater risk because of petty political games.
With our recent gains and successes in Iraq, the fight in Afghanistan has become the front-line in the battle against terrorists. If we don’t provide our Armed Forces in the area with the necessary tools to ensure their success in this country, we risk losing the entire war on terror.
We simply cannot allow Afghanistan to be taken over by terrorist organizations like al-Qaida and the Taliban. We cannot step away from this region and allow the terrorists to prevail because that will, once again, allow Afghanistan to become an international haven for terrorists and a base to launch attacks against the United States and its allies. President Obama must listen to his generals on the ground. He gave General McChrystal the assignment to win the fight in Afghanistan; now the president needs to ensure he is given the proper resources to successfully complete that assignment.