There are three people who I listen to knowing they tell it like it is because they are in the midst of everything going on and have been since the outset. They are CNN's Michael Ware, NBC's Richard Engel and CNN's Peter Bergen.
Mr. Bergen had some interesting observations today on CNN.com .
We already know the American people have little taste for the war in Afghanistan. For that to change the President is going to have to leave the golf course and step up to the plate and make a decision on our mission there. Not only to satisfy the American people but, as is Mr. Bergan's second point, to provide the Afghanistan people a degree of security.
He points out that the last time they had any was under the oppressive rule of the Taliban. Otherwise they are subject to the whims of roaming gangs of ethnic and tribal factions engaged in their own civil wars.
The problem is, no matter who wins the run-off election, there are no Afghan forces anywhere near ready to provide that security. Thus it falls into our lap. Since al Qaeda has a friend in the Taliban, we're really fighting to hold back both factions from regaining ground in Afghanistan.
If this is the mission selected it's going to be a long, difficult slog, but at least the mission would be clear. To the American people, to the troops and to the Afghan people. If the commitment is made and the necessary troops deployed, the Afghan people may be more inclined to side with us for there will be tangible hope.
Perhaps it's time to suck it up and do what is necessary to stop the Taliban and al Qaeda aggression in it's tracks. It will be a long, difficult haul but at least an end will have been defined; a mission explained. Pussy footing around the issue has gotten us little but frustration and lack of morale. Not only from us and our troops, but the people of Afghanistan. It's time for the Americans' to be all that we can be, if the Army will permit me to use their phrase, and do it right. If it means more troops, then let's do it. What's the popular adage? Lead, follow or get out of the way. That's the American way. Or at least it used to be.