I happen to watch MSNBC today with David Shuster talking to Richard Engel about the Afghanistan mission. After listening to this exchange, I was left with, "How can any mission in Afghanistan be complete in 18 months?"
It is not going to happen.
Richard Engel talked about major problems on the Afghanistan side:
* Drug Addiction
This is the short list.
Let's be real, does anyone thing that the 2011 timeline will be kept, with this information from the Pentagon Papers? I mean, I stopped listening at drug addiction and illiteracy. Just those two issues are life changing ones and we all have been around or know someone who has been in and out of rehab for drugs, do you think with all that going on that a 2011 withdrawal is realistic?
And there may not be nearly as many Afghan battalions as the country claims. The report said previous estimates are not believable. "Estimate for soldiers actually in battalions far below reported," it said. "Example: between 40 and 50 percent in some areas." And Afghan soldiers still in the ranks have literacy problems, and that "mentally, physically unfit and drug addicts hurt units."
I am not for the Afghanistan surge or build up, but will give President Obama a chance here, and this is a very small chance. This task is hard and difficult, but nobody is asleep nor does anyone believe that any Western change will be real in Afghanistan.
President Obama must decide what he is going to do. Go after Osama bin Ladin, appease Pakistan, nation build in Afghanistan as we did in Iraq, or just call it a day and focus on us, the citizens and security HERE. I state this after the botch job of our government agencies with the Nigerian terrorist who tried to ignite explosives on a plane from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan.
Our president has a lot of issues on his plate, he is a rookie president, he has been slow on some moves, but in the end we can not continue sending our precious blood to these countries and in the end don't have shit to show for it.
To sum it up from Meteor Blades @ Daily Kos:
To condense: the Afghan National Army is a farce; there's little chance of turning it into a cohesive fighting force; and there's zero chance of doing so on a speedy timetable, all of which I noted 10 days ago in Phantom Hope: The Afghan Army.
That is the reality.
From Rachel Maddow: