This morning the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen insisted that more troops were necessary to bring victory to NATO forces in Afghanistan. Mullen was vague on specifics, insinuating but not requesting additional troops beyond the 21,000 soldiers committed by the administration this year. There is nothing more reassuring than having the head of the military asking for "more resources" but having "no recommendations about how many forces might be needed." Tight ship they are running there.
As usual, Senate blowhards provided useless talking points. John McCain (R-AZ), worshipped by the mainstream media as a foreign policy guru, praised Obama's decision to suck 21,000 new soldiers into the conflict, warning that any delay would "put lives in danger." In contrast, any delay in sending more young men and women to the desert mountains presumably keeps their lives out of danger. Carl Levin (D-MI), who is actually opposed to escalating the conflict, insisted on a more urgent and ambitious training program for Afghan for security forces, as if getting an illiterate and impoverished police force up to speed isn't everyone's goal. Jack Reed (D-RI) suggested that we needed "civilian efforts" due to the "dysfunctional" and "illegitimate" state of the Afghani government. When are these Senators and military men going to admit that this operation has been a total failure? Real courage requires the ability to say we made a mistake, and the only way to right it is to bring our troops home.
The best line went to Smokey Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who said that sending "only" trainers, as opposed to more combat troops, would send the wrong message. "They're essentially going to decide we're on our way out." If only it were that easy, Joe.