Truth to Power

40,000 to defeat…100?

A War of Absurdity

Every once in a while, a statistic just jumps out at you in a way that makes everything else you hear on a subject seem beside the point, if not downright absurd. That was my reaction to the recent statement of the president’s national security adviser, former Marine Gen. James Jones, concerning the size of the terrorist threat from Afghanistan:

“The Al Qaeda presence is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies.”</strong>

Less than 100! And he is basing his conservative estimate on the best intelligence data available to our government. That means that Al Qaeda, for all practical purposes, does not exist in Afghanistan–so why are we having a big debate about sending even more troops to fight an enemy that has relocated elsewhere? Because of the blind belief, in the minds of those like John McCain, determined to “win” in Afghanistan, that if we don’t escalate, Al Qaeda will inevitably come back. </em>

So why does McChrystal want 40,000 more troops?

Oh, and we should trust General McChrystal, he’s one of the good guys. Except of course when he’s leading the cover-up of a serviceman killed by friendly fire, that is.


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