It is rumored that Mr. Obama will Surge in Afghanistan with tens of thousands of more American troops while not Surging in Afghanistan with new Afghan police. In other words, he’s rumored to send more American boys and girls to fight a War while not asking for more Afghan boys and girls to police that War.
The argument for this is that the Afghan government cannot properly train their boys and girls, even with the assistance of our boys and girls (and NATO boys and girls). Don’t waste time, money, and effort on something that won’t work.
This inference better be stronger than kryptonite.
Please consider the attributional implications of this. Talk about making something My Responsibility. Hey, Obama’ll do it without You or Them. Mr. Obama is doing everything he can to allow outside observers, especially American citizens, to make External Attributions to him.
Why are we fighting this War – Because of the Devil Mr. Obama!
As I closed an earlier post, isn’t it possible to achieve your goals and to get your allies (Afghans, American citizens) to make Internal Attributions (It’s Our War), too?
Mr. Obama is sowing the seeds of his own destruction even if he wins the Long War. He is allowing everyone else to wildly over attribute the Long War to his responsibility and is blocking anyone else from making commitments for themselves to the Long War.
It is simply too easy to position an “Afghan Police Surge” as an important and valuable element of a strategy even if it doesn’t work well on the ground. Politicians do it every year with the budget and earmarks. Obama can define a simple program that merely has to have a pulse to be successful and then label this as an Ally Surge. In other words even if the program won’t work (think about the wildly popular but proven inert intervention called D.A.R.E), it still has important persuasion effects of maintaining support for a complex, dangerous, and long term effort.
And, Mr. Obama is running away from this.
a Big P.S. I posted this on November 30, noting it as a “rumor.” Well, now we know. The reporters of this article clearly got it wrong. Obama does want serious training from the Afghans and expects larger efforts from everyone on this. The persuasion point remains, but does not apply here because it was just a rumor. Don’t believe everything you read, even from me!