Michael Yon sounds the alarm about Afghan war 

Those who have followed Michael Yon’s work and appreciated his prescience about the lurch toward civil war in Iraq and the subsequent military turnaround there after the Bush surge should most certainly give a read to D.B. Grady’s piece today in the Atlantic.

Grady shows how Yon went from being a supporter of the Obama Afghan surge to expressing grave misgivings and finally open skepticism for Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s strategy given the resources available.

Here’s Yon to Grady on the state of the war:

“Even if the President commits more forces [next year], they will not be effective until 2012. By that time, more allies likely will have peeled off, requiring us to commit even more forces to cover down. We lost crucial time in building the Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army and so forth, and today we are paying the price. This is not to mention that the Afghan government is sorry at best and criminal at worst.

He concludes, “The trajectory of this war leaves a sick feeling in my stomach. It’s as if I’ve watched a space shuttle liftoff while sitting at launch control, with full knowledge that it will abort to the Indian Ocean. We are trying to reach orbit with insufficient fuel.”

Yon has spent more time reporting from the front lines of the post 9/11 wars than anyone I know of and he was a Gren Beret himself. He was right about Iraq twice when almost everybody else was getting it wrong, usually for political reasons.

Political motivations seem to be clouding a good bit of Afghan analysis too.

Many hawks are afraid to sound a critical note about the Obama surge for fear of starting down the path toward retreat — any surge being better than no surge at all. Many doves are squeamish about criticizing the Obama surge because they are not yet ready to admit that the candidate who launched himself forward on anti-war sentiment is more Bushian than Bush on Afghanistan.

Yon doesn’t seem to be bound by either of those considerations.

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Chris Stirewalt


Washington Examiner Political Editor Chris Stirewalt, who coordinates political coverage for the newspaper and ExaminerPolitics.com in addition to writing a twice-weekly column and
regular blog posts.

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