Deteriorating Military Situation in Afghan War Erodes Congressional Support
Interview with Gareth Porter, historian and national security policy analyst, conducted by Scott Harris
Editor's note: Gen. Stanley McChrystal was relieved of his command by President Obama after our production date.
As the war in Afghanistan becomes ever more violent, the latest headlines in the U.S. press have focused on a public spitting match between U.S. Afghan war commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal and the Obama administration. Gen. McChrystal was called back to Washington to respond in person to his staff's insulting criticism of President Obama and senior White House officials quoted in a July 8 Rolling Stone magazine article.
But the more important story involves a deteriorating situation in the Afghan war with an alarming rise in the number of Taliban-organized suicide bombings and assassinations of government officials. This, despite 30,000 additional U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan by President Obama, now totaling 94,000. A major U.S. offensive in the rural area of Marjah in February initially was declared a success, but the Taliban have succeeded in infiltrating back into the area, undermining the Pentagon's "clear, hold and build," strategy. A larger American offensive in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar province, originally set for June has been delayed due to the lack of local support -- and is expected to be launched this fall.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with historian and national security policy analyst Gareth Porter, who in a recent article predicted that the U.S. will soon confront an "Iraq 2006 moment," where political support for the Afghan war will evaporate among members of Congress and other elite opinion makers. Here Porter talks about the unraveling of the Afghan war -- and the interesting timing of a Pentagon announcement touting Afghan's nearly trillion worth of untapped mineral wealth.
Gareth Porter is author of the book, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam." Read his articles online at www.ipsnews.net
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