McCain to Jump on Obama Afghan Bandwagon

But without a lot rational thought/planning involved it would appear.

Per Abu Muquawama, Eli Lake reports that McCain will call for a surge in Afghanistan, story here.

Charlie (an expert in COIN) from AM comments:

Ok, this is six kinds of interesting. Charlie would love to know which specific “strategy” has been nominated for export….and whether it was based on any assessment of, you know, Afghanistan. There are some basic COIN best practices that might improve the situation in Afg (one word: sanctuary), but the broader population centric approach would require significant changes to be successfully applied there. And if McCain’s crew think they can blindly transfer “lessons” from the Anbar Awakening to the assorted tribes in Afg (and NWFP?) then we’re gonna have some real fireworks.

Also, and Charlie hates to be pedantic, but there’s the minor matter of where exactly these troops would come from. Obama says Iraq, but McCain has largely campaigned on maintaining current troop levels there. Of course with the current admin back-peddling a bit on this same issue now, perhaps McCain has some wiggle room. But this is not the place to send (more) ill-equipped and poorly trained National Guard troops when you’ve run out of active duty units.

There are two Talibans (at least), Northern and Southern.  But seems unlikely they could be totally split off from one another.  Afghanistan is far more rural than Iraq (more urban terrain).  And as with the flipping of the Sunni Tribes in Anbar there doesn’t seem to be a parallel–perhaps some tribal chiefs in the border regions who have been terrorized/killed by the Taliban/AQ elements could be persuaded.

In true McCain form, no details offered, just promises of victory.  Just like balancing budgets, winning wars, and the rest, he has a “comprehensive strategy”–just no details to go along with it.  Comprehensively detail deficient.


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