USA Today reports:
The number of attacks in Iraq has dropped 85% over the past two years, the top U.S. commander testified Wednesday.
Gen. Ray Odierno said security has continued to improve in the three months since American forces withdrew from cities as part of a agreement to remove all American forces by the end of 2011.
On Feb. 14, 2007, against the wishes of the Democrat party, the U.S. began increasing the presence of troops in and around Baghdad as part of a troop surge for which the United States had committed an extra 30,000 troops.
This is as good a time as any to remind readers of what then Senator Barack Obama told CBS News on January 14, 2007:
“We cannot impose a military solution on what has effectively become a civil war. And until we acknowledge that reality — we can send 15,000 more troops, 20,000 more troops, 30,000 more troops, I don’t know any expert on the region or any military officer that I’ve spoken to privately that believes that that is going to make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground.” (CBS’ “Face The Nation,” 1/14/07).
The surge was such a success that by July ’08 the candidate Obama had purged his campaign website of all his criticism of the surge, and by the fall of 2008 was even admitting that it had `succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.’
Given President Obama’s track record on the troop surge in Iraq, you would think he’d want to defer to his commanders’ advice on a troop surge for Afghanistan.
Senator Lindsey Graham appeared on the Greta Van Susteren Show, last night to discuss Afghanistan:
Here’s a partial transcript:
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, isn’t the whole idea to be decisive. I mean, each day – I was looking at the numbers of people, and this year the numbers of American military deaths in Afghanistan is 218 so far this year, which is already 40 percent more than in 2008. So we – we need to do something.
GRAHAM: Yes, ma’am. And my view is that General McChrystal has thought of – thought well – long and hard about what that something is. The something is to regain lost ground, to take the 40,000 additional troops, deploy them in areas where the Taliban have reemerged, 1,000 percent increase in IED attacks.
We learned in Afghanistan – in Iraq, when we put more troops in, the people trusted us. They told us more about what was going on. So more combat power will win the population over to our side, and if we don’t act quickly, the casualties are going to go up. But worst of all worlds is to keep in place what we have now. It’s an unsustainable situation. It needs to change one way or the other, and I think more troops is the way it needs to change.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have any doubt in your mind that President Obama is going to do as his general on the ground, McChrsytal, says needs to be done?
GRAHAM: You know, I worked really hard for Senator McCain. This is not President Obama’s war. I want him to be successful. I want to help him. If he ignores the general’s advice and we don’t send those troops, I don’t see how we win. I know General Petraeus and General McChrystal very well. They understand what they’re asking – the people going to Afghanistan are going to come from Iraq.
So I would urge the president to listen to his military commanders. These people know what they’re doing. They turned Iraq around, they could turn Afghanistan around.
Senator Graham recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan.