Photo: The few, the very, very few, the Afghan security forces
So the Marine "surge" into Helmand Provice, Afghanistan continues apace, but, according to the New York Times, mission commander Brig.Gen. Larry Nicholson is having initial problems implementing his "drink tea, eat goat, get to know these people" strategy to win the "trust" of the Afghan people. It's not just that "we Muslims do not like them [US]." Now, it's becoming apparent, in the the Emperor-has-no-clothes words of Capt. Brian Huysman, commander of Company C of the First Battalion, Fifth Marines in Nawa: "We can't read these people; we're different. They're not going to tell us the truth...."
Whether he knows it, Captain Huysman has just launched a wrecking ball into the whole politically correct (multi-culti), self-censoring (Islam-free) underpinnings of the US misadventures in the Middle and Near East. While his orders should have him singing a different tune -- I hear that "Getting to Know You" is the unofficial hymn for this mission** -- his observations are clearly bringing out the never-never aspects of these emanations from La-La Land, I mean, the Pentagon. Basic problem: It is unrealistic to expect an Islamic culture to toe a Western line.
**Just kidding about the hymn. But back to the imminent problem of Captain Huysman, having implicity at least recognized the limitations of being an infidel among Muslims: "We'll never get to build and transition" -- the last phase of the operation -- "unless we have the Afghans," he said.
In a nutshell, there are hardly any Afghans willing or able to fight with the Allied forces in Afghanistan against the Taliban.
"What I need is more Afghans," said General Nicholson, apparently jumping Afghan troop levels over tea-and-goat consumption as his strategic priority. As the New York Times put it: "General Nicholson and others say that the long-term success of the operation hinges on the performance" -- not of US forces, a variable under US control -- "of the Afghan security forces, which will have to take over eventually from American troops." In other words, our success depends on a variable outside our control. This is the same fundamental problem we created for ourselves in Iraq: The long-term success of the "surge" depends on the reaction of Iraqis to better security created by US troops. Leaving US success to variables outside US control is Bad Strategy.
There are now merely 400 "effective" Afghan soldiers with US forces in Helmand. "The net increase in Afghan security forces is zero" since the brigade arrived a few months ago, he said. Captain Huysman calls it "absolutely our Achilles heel."
Does anyone in the article, reporter included, ever specuiate as to why an infidel army is having trouble raising Muslim troops to fight the jihadist Taliban? Whether Islamic-Western differences play any role in this oil-and-vinegar set-up? No. Travellers through Dar-al-Islam, we still don't want to or somehow can't acknowledge the role of Duh-al-Islam.