Of Afghanistan And The Surge
There is something about the mess in the Persian Gulf I don't understand.
On tonight's (7/17/08) episode of MSNBC's "Hardball," guest host Mike Barnicle led a discussion with public relations consultant and Repub strategist Mike Paul and Democratic strategist Steve McMahon. Recent ads by Barack Obama and John McCain were shown, followed by comments by Paul and McMahon. One such ad was put up by "Vets For Freedom," a third-party endorsement of Mccain in which various individuals emphatically asserted that the "surge is working." McMahon argued soldiers "on their fourth tour" are not anxious to remain in Iraq and "there's a political situation over there that hasn't improved very much."
True enough, and kudos to McMahon for asserting what is, or at least was before the presumptive Democratic nominee's obfuscation, the party's position on the war.
But in reports of 6/30/08 and 7/2/08 The New York Times noted:
the White House shifted its sights, beginning in 2002, from counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan to preparations for the war in Iraq.... Current and former military and intelligence officials said that the war in Iraq consistently diverted resources and high-level attention from the tribal areas (of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan). (Now, there is) a strengthening Taliban insurgency that has menaced NATO forces and reclaimed control over some southern and eastern parts of the country.... (and) more American and coalition troops died in Afghanistan last month (i.e., June) than during any other month since the American-led invasion began in 2001.
So has the "surge" diverted resources from the war in Afghanistan to the war in Iraq? And if so, why haven't opponents of the Bush-Rice-McCain war policy (especially with Obama's emphasis on Afghanistan) not argued that: 1)the military success has resulted from diversion of resources from Afghanistan and 2)the Pakistan/Afghanistan front- not Iraq- is home to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda?
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