AFGHANISTAN….According to the Baltimore Sun, “a U.S. Army infantry battalion fighting in a critical area of eastern Afghanistan is due to be withdrawn within weeks in order to deploy to Iraq.” Apparently this battalion is about to become a key part of President Bush’s surge strategy. However, the results in Afghanistan could be dire:
According to Army Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata and other senior U.S. commanders here, that will happen just as the Taliban is expected to unleash a major campaign to cut the vital road between Kabul and Kandahar. The official said the Taliban intend to seize Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city and the place where the group was organized in the 1990s.
….”It is bleak,” said Col. Chris Haas, commander of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan.
“The gains we have made over the past few years are mostly gone,” said a bearded Special Operations officer, fresh in from advising Afghan army units in battle with 600 to 700 well-equipped Taliban fighters.
More troops in Iraq will almost certainly not make any noticable difference there. More troops in Afghanistan might, but they aren’t available because of Iraq. It’s worth keeping in mind that Bush’s resistance to withdrawal in Iraq is likely to lead to the United States losing not just one war, but two. I’m not sure if any American president has done that before.