A military reader writes:
I've written you a few times. You've responded, once. I'm usually not too happy with you.
Anyway, I'm now in Kandahar, working for Stan. That Stan.
I was anti-Iraq. Beginning to now, in the US and in Anbar with a gun in my hand. I was anti-Afghanistan ... the Bush/Rummy version, after about week six. So ... here's my tip:
We're going to win this one. We have a plan. I call it C2. COIN and cordwood.
We're trying to learn counter insurgency, while at the same time, we're stacking insurgent (the only accepted term at the moment) bodies like cordwood. They've gotten a little bit afraid, and are growing more so every day. The relatively fast 30k is going to relatively quickly change the picture, in noticeable way, in Helmand and Kandahar. We're booting the Canadians out of command of Kandahar City. Omar's town. We're putting a bright, smart, tough, funny Brit 2 star in charge of RC South, where the battle really matters.
Come on out. I'll show you around. But, please, avenge your Iraq mistakes by backing us when we need you, and other reasonably sane guys with platforms, to help out a little. Obama has taken some huge brave risks; but they're smart risks, and we're going to prove him right.
I've said, in so far as this matters, that I am backing you and will back you until 2011, just as I hoped the surge that I opposed would somehow work (which has yet, alas, to be proven). But the Dish has a responsibility to make a judgment but also to subject that judgment in the future to constant scrutiny and new evidence. In war, where everything is unpredictable, that holds particularly true. I'd leave now just as I would have left Iraq two years ago. But I understand the counter-arguments and certainly hope we can get a better outcome within a reasonable time-frame.
Show me. And may God protect you.