Afghan War after Troops Increase

April 1, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

The latest on Afghan war after adding more troops to the nine-year-old battle, a contentious debate that was dominant last year.

Associated Press – Sunday, March 28, 2010.

By Sebastian Abbot – Thank you.

“Troop deaths rise in Afghanistan – Numbers soaring as U.S. adds soldiers

Kabul – The number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan has roughly doubled in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period last year as Washington has added tens of thousands of additional soldiers to reverse the Taliban’s momentum.

Those deaths have been accompanied by a dramatic spike in the number of wounded, with injuries more than tripling in the first two months of the year and trending in the same direction based on the latest available data for March.

U.S. officials have warned that casualties are likely to rise further as the Pentagon completes its deployment of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and sets its sight on the Taliban’s home base of Kandahar province, where a major operation is expected in the coming months.

“We must steel ourselves, no matter how successful we are on any given day, for harder days yet to come,” Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a briefing last month.

In total, 57 U.S. soldiers were killed here during the first two months of 2010 compared with 28 in January and February of last year, an increase of more than 100 percent, according to Pentagon figures compiled by the Associated Press.

At least 20 American service members have been killed so far in March.

The steady rise in combat deaths has generated less public reaction in the United States than the spike in casualties in the summer and fall, which undermined public support in the United States for the mission here.

Fighting typically tapers off in Afghanistan during the winter but peaks in the summer.”


War Strategy Assessment – By Padmini Arhant

The troops increase to Afghanistan was a national debate last year with mixed reaction from all sources.

It’s important to emphasize that there wasn’t an overwhelming public support to the additional troops deployment in Afghanistan.

There were many reasons for the lack luster response.

Among them, the most relevant ones being:

The U.S. and allies’ nomination of President Hamid Karzai as the head of the government for second term defied the Afghan people’s will.

Notwithstanding, the international outrage on the fraudulent general election that led to the opponent, DR. Abdullah Abdullah’s withdrawal from the election.

Another factor is the U.S. occupancy in Afghanistan approaching a decade and the constantly changing ‘purpose’ behind the mission remains intriguing until now.

After much deliberation, President Barack Obama decided to approve the request from the defense high command and argued, “It’s not an easy decision to do so.”

Indeed, pledging the troops’ lives to succeed in the targeted goals is never a simple action.

However, a prolonged war provides enough evidence to consider winding up the operation or at least minimize the troop level by supplementing with diplomacy and peaceful negotiations.

Peace and diplomacy could have prevailed with a democratically elected government. It was thwarted by the U.S. endorsement of an unpopular candidate.

Further, the explanation for more troops involved the U.S and NATO efforts to restore political stability in Afghanistan and terminate the Taliban/Al-Qaida activities.

The irony is, the Afghanistan political situation under the U.S. backed Karzai government shows no improvement in governance, despite the incumbent Afghan President being the U.S. foreign policy designates’ choice.

Similarly, the shift in the U.S. and Afghan government’s strategy towards Taliban insurgents appears to be a new approach to win the militants on their side with cash payments and abandoning the poppy fields eradication – the main source of income for the Taliban forces.

An action that is widely criticized by the human rights groups against narcotics in Afghanistan.

As predicted, the tension between the Karzai government and the U.S. administration has surfaced confirming the mistrust in the relationship.

While the political stalemate between the authorities in Kabul and Washington persists, the mounting U.S. casualties in the Afghan war cannot be ignored.

Troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq is no longer a choice but an immediate requirement to end the procrastinated occupation in foreign lands.

Divestment from wars to social and economic development in these regions must begin to reflect the sincere commitment to bring hope and opportunity in a society deprived of normal existence for decades.

Substituting the combat troops with Peace Corps eliminates the tragic loss of lives on all sides.

In addition, the peaceful atmosphere would deter terror recruitment and foster an environment for the youth as well as others to build their nations towards a positive direction.

Now is the time for the U.S. authorities in the White House, Pentagon and the State department to relinquish failed policies that is proved a liability claiming precious lives and contributing to the rising deficit.

War leads to grief, revenge and destruction.

Whereas, peace is an eternal bliss.

I convey my condolences to the families of the fallen heroes and pray for the early recovery of the wounded brave hearts.

Your sacrifice makes freedom possible for all.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


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