Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 1 0545

This is an overview of troops in theater. Current count is much higher with OEF totals over 120,000.  The recent killing of four unarmed French troops by an ANA soldier has resulted in a push for early withdrawal by French politicians. NATO response is to stay with the current timeline through 2014. Some Europeans see Operation Enduring Freedom as support of US expansion, an opinion reinforced by the US involvement in Iraq, often seen as a war of choice in spite of the now discredited weapons intelligence.
        I think most folks back home are simply tired of Middle East war, unfortunately, it is complex and complicated.  In Qatar, a new "secret" series of talks planned between the US and Taliban. These are taking place without the Afghan president and AWAY from Pakistan and the ISI. President Obama, who showed his cards early when he decided on a 2014 withdrawal date (in hopes of winning office), needs to capitalize on the military's current position of power in this hoped for round of talks. In other words, announcing your exit strategy before negotiating a peace agreement is not a solid foundation, move quickly while OEF is at full strength. Without an peace agreement, insurgent forces will simply play a waiting game.

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