US Senator John McCain predicted an allied win in Afghanistan in one year to 18 months if sufficient troops are sent, as the White House mulls sending tens of thousands of reinforcements. […]
“I am absolutely convinced and totally confident that with sufficient resources we can turn the situation around,” McCain told reporters at an international defense summit in easternmost Canada.
“I even am bold enough to predict that in a year to 18 months you will see success if the effort is sufficiently resourced and there is a commitment to get the job done before setting a date to leave the region,” he said.
McCain didn’t get around to explaining why his perspective on this should have any salience at all, which is a shame. I’d love to hear why anyone should take him seriously on the subject.
Keep in mind, as recently as a year ago, McCain rejected talk of sending additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan. He later changed his mind, and then changed it back. The seriousness with which McCain took U.S. policy in Afghanistan became clear when the senator endorsed the notorious “muddle through” strategy.
But of particular interest right now, it’ll be great to hear McCain flesh out this position in more detail. In 12 to 18 months, he says, the U.S. will “see success” in Afghanistan, but only if an additional 40,000 troops are on the ground. But what does “success” mean? Gen. McChrystal has said largely the opposite — that the mission may very well fail even with an escalation.
McCain has long loved bumper-sticker-style slogans as a substitute for actual thinking about foreign policy. But that’s all the more reason to press further. What does “get the job done” mean? What can 108,000 soldiers do that 68,000 soldiers have not? If escalation is the key to success, why has McCain resisted troop increases in the past?
Inquiring minds want to know.