SOME GOOD NEWS FROM AFGHANISTAN – AT 8:54 A.M. ET: That in itself is unusual. It's good to report something positive from that difficult war. From Rowan Scarborough at the Washington Times:
The U.S. military is starting to see signs that the troop surge in Afghanistan is working on a timetable similar to the Iraq reinforcement campaign in 2007, according to an outside adviser and military sources.
"There are already some early signs of a beginning of a momentum shift in our favor," retired Army Gen. Jack Keane told The Washington Times.
Gen. Keane just returned from a two-week tour of the battlefield, where the focus is on ousting the Taliban from Kandahar, its birthplace, as well as from Helmand province and other southern and eastern areas.
Gen. Keane reported his findings to Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Kabul, who saw the surge of 30,000 troops completed in August, placing about 100,000 American service members in country.
An architect of the Bush administration's surge of troops in Iraq, Gen. Keane advised Gen. Petraeus when he was the top commander there.
Gen. Keane told The Times he has witnessed in Afghanistan the same shift in fortunes: Taliban fighters are changing sides, villages are being cleansed of the enemy and protected, and intercepted communications show flagging Taliban morale.
COMMENT: Keane is a solid guy who refused to get pessimistic in Iraq. While some might say he has a vested interest in finding the good news, I think he's sophisticated enough about PR to know that these reports can't be sensationalized. I'd take him seriously.
If we start to succeed in Afghanistan, I wonder who'll get the credit? Obama will take it. He's already tried to take credit for Iraq, but the irony is that such chest thumping will alientate his own base even further. The Democratic left-wing base never met an American victory it liked.
October 12, 2010