- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
- New evidence could threaten Army sex assault case
- George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show
- GOP lawmaker faces fire for NBA crime tweet
- Taliban vow to ‘use all force’ to disrupt Afghan elections
- Atheists sue to remove ‘Ground Zero Cross’ from 9/11 museum
- Bishop in Aleppo: ‘We Christians live in fear in Syria’
- Oscar Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Optimism premature in Afghanistan
In his recent Op-Ed, Michael O'Hanlon confidently predicts the United States “can attain the minimal acceptable requirements: preventing a Taliban return to power and a major al Qaeda presence on Afghan soil.” (“Rays of hope in Afghanistan,” Commentary, Monday) What country did he visit?
Recently, at the same time that President Obama expressed similar assurances, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the hard-headed Democratic chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House counterpart, issued a rare public, bipartisan report on their fact-finding trip to Afghanistan. Their stark conclusion - hardly that of two “peaceniks” - was that the Taliban are now stronger than they were before Mr. Obama’s troop surge two years ago.
While Mr. O'Hanlon notes in his piece that Afghan army and police forces “have almost reached their envisioned full size,” he omits the facts that the police are widely deemed to be corrupt, ill-trained and untrustworthy, while the army units take the lead in only the more trivial operations and remain dependent on NATO combat backup, logistics and intelligence.
Mr. O'Hanlon has been a faithful but consistently inaccurate stenographer for the Bush and Obama White Houses on Iraq and Afghanistan. But his steady cheerleading, in the face of factual reporting by more detached experts like Anthony Cordesman, our best foreign correspondents and experienced veterans like Lt. Col. Daniel Davis and Matthew Hoh, suggests he would do better by providing more realistic assessments - and leaving the spin to the administration and regional commanders.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
Get Breaking Alerts
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- Charges filed against accused 'shadow campaign' financier
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
Recent Letters to the Editor
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time for feckless president to show resolve
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Obama reserves 'Chicago way' for GOP
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Public education would wither in free market
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Turkey not committed to Cyprus peace
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Spoiled-kid culture creates greedy adults