synthetic zero

December 8th, 2009

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a Republican who was originally appointed by Bush to replace the execrable Donald Rumsfeld after the 2006 elections and retained (I believe, wisely) by Obama after he took office, in this New York Times article on Afghanistan, essentially admits that the Bush Administration strategy in Afghanistan had been woefully inadequate:

Another problem, Mr. Gates said, was that the Afghan security forces were spread far too thin. “Attrition is higher in the areas where the combat is heavier,” he said. “The reason is there aren’t enough of them. And they basically fight until they die, or they go AWOL.”

Rotating in more Afghan soldiers, he said, “would be an important part of the retention piece as well.”

When asked if it was not “late in the game” in an eight-year-old war to begin learning these facts about the Afghan security forces, Mr. Gates replied that “there’s a lot of this that’s late in the game, frankly.”

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