Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Secretary of Defense Gates Opines on U.S. Losing Momentum in Afghanistan

The May 26th Wall Street Journal -- the day after Memorial Day this year -- carried the article "Gates Says Taliban Have Momentum in Afghanistan" by Yochi J. Dreazen and August Cole.

What's amazing to me, after reading the book FIRST IN by Gary C. Schroen (see my earlier blog post about this book), is that I believe the U.S. military is in the position we now face in Afghanistan precisely because the American public got tired of the fighting in Afghanistan after we first engaged in the fall of 2001.

Perhaps if we didn't always "dissipate" American public support our country's foreign affairs policy would be more stable.

Here's the opening of The Wall Street Journal article:
American public support for the Afghan war will dissipate in less than a year unless the Obama administration achieves "a perceptible shift in momentum," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview.

Mr. Gates said the momentum in Afghanistan is with the Taliban, who are inflicting heavy U.S. casualties and hold de facto control of swaths of the country.

The defense chief has been moving aggressively to salvage the war in Afghanistan, signing off on the deployments of 21,000 American military personnel and recently taking the unprecedented step of firing the four-star general who commanded all U.S. forces there. Mr. Gates, speaking in his cabin on an Air Force plane, said the administration is rapidly running out of time to turn around the war.

"People are willing to stay in the fight, I believe, if they think we're making headway," he said. "If they think we're stalemated and having our young men and women get killed, then patience is going to run out pretty fast."
Read the entire Wall Street Journal article now and then leave a comment below on what you think of Gates' statements.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs as a National Internet Business Examiner and at Operation Support Jews in the Military and Fiction Marketing, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life.

Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites that get people to say yes to your brand, book or business. Her newest project is the book/website project In Support of Our Troops.

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