Saturday, May 16, 2009

Meanhwhile, back at the…

Alas, Dear Gentle Reader(s), it seems we are in for more of the same—on so many different fronts.  Half truths, three-quarters truths, possibly even 99 and 44/100% truths are still on the table.  Maybe there’s no such thing as the whole truth.

On or about April 27, General David Petraeus spoke to an audience at Kansas State University.  His topic was principles used in Iraq and how they applied to Afghanistan.  It makes for interesting reading.  You are encouraged to go to the Centcom site for the Pentagon’s press release.

In his talk Petraeus spoke of the success of the “Surge,” and how its principles would apply in Afghanistan, with one teensy omission:  paying Sunnis to work with American forces out in the Iraqi provinces.

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that the success of the Surge in Iraq had as much to do with employment as it did with troop buildup.  We simply weren’t told about it at the time.  (And the breakdown of that employment program has contributed in no small measure to the current rise in violence in Iraq.)

Petraeus should acknowledge all facets of the Surge in Iraq if he wants us to trust his judgment in Afghanistan.  And some journalist, somewhere, should ask him about them.  Otherwise there will continue to be that niggling sense of unease whenever our leaders speak to us.

Trust, but verify.


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