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April 02, 2009

Petraeus Wants 10,000 More Troops for Afghanistan; Obama Balks

What does Petraeus know about defeating an insurgency, anyway.

Petraeus acknowledged that the ratio of coalition and Afghan security forces to the population is projected through 2011 to be significantly lower than the 20 troops per 1,000 people prescribed by the Army counterinsurgency manual he helped write.

“If you assume there is an insurgency throughout the country . . . you need more forces,” Petraeus, who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as head of U.S. Central Command, said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said the Pentagon has not yet forwarded the troop request to the White House.

Obama disagrees and claims he's "properly resourced" the war.

Petraeus literally wrote the book on CI operations. And the book worked. And yet here is Obama, who campaigned heavily on the promise to win the war that needed to be won in Afghanistan, and rapped Bush for "taking his eyes off the ball," undermanning the war effort.

Here's his rationale:

Asked how he would handle requests from commanders for more troops, he said: “What I will not do is to simply assume that more troops always result in an improved situation. . . . There may be a point of diminishing returns.”

Odd. That was the thinking under Bush -- thinking that, while understandable, turned out to be wrong. Thinking that Candidate Obama castigated. Thinking that Candidate Obama promised to reverse.

But I suppose all those promises weren't really Obama's -- merely the Magic Teleprompter's -- so he feels no strong reason to deliver on them.

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posted by Ace at 03:04 PM

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