Terrorism

Biden told Obama military's Afghan war plan was flawed, according to leaked memo

Associated Press
Friday, 29-June-2012

 

WASHINGTON: As President Barack Obama considered adding as many as 40,000 U.S. forces to a backsliding war in Afghanistan in 2009, Vice President Joe Biden warned him that the military rationale for doing so was flawed, a new book about Obama's expansion of the conflict says.

The book, "Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan," also says that in planning the drawdown of troops two years later, the White House intentionally sidelined the CIA. Obama purposely did not read a grim CIA assessment of Afghanistan that found little measurable benefit from the 30,000 "surge" forces Obama eventually approved, the book quotes a U.S. official as saying.

A copy of the book by Washington Post correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran was obtained by The Associated Press. It will be released Tuesday.

A previously undisclosed Biden memo to Obama in November 2009 reflects his view that military commanders were asking Obama to take a leap by adding tens of thousands of forces whose role was poorly defined.

Although Biden's doubts have become well known, the new book details how Biden used a months-long White House review of the war to question the basic premise that the same "counterinsurgency" strategy that had apparently worked in Iraq could be applied to Afghanistan.

"I do not see how anyone who took part in our discussions could emerge without profound questions about the viability of counterinsurgency," Biden wrote to Obama. To work, the counterinsurgency or "COIN" doctrine requires military gains to be paired with advances in government services, a "credible" Afghan government and Afghan security services that can take over, Biden's memo said.

Although the U.S. military could accomplish any technical assignment related to the new strategy, such as sweeping insurgents from a village, "no one can tell you with conviction when, and even if, we can produce the flip sides of COIN," Biden wrote. He supported a buildup of 20,000, half the number requested by then-war commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

The memo echoed a secret message to Washington from then-U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry that had called Afghan President Hamid Karzai an unreliable partner for the proposed surge. Eikenberry, a former top Army general who had served in Afghanistan, said more forces would only delay the time when Afghans would take over responsibility for their own security.

The Eikenberry memo was leaked shortly after he sent it, and confirmed by U.S. officials. Biden was presumed to agree with it, but he stayed mum at the time.

Obama's compromise -- 30,000 additional forces and a deadline to begin bringing them home -- was intended to blunt the momentum of a resurgent Taliban insurgency without committing Obama to an open-ended war.

The classified CIA assessment found that Afghanistan was "trending to stalemate" in mid-2011, just ahead of the long-planned date when Obama would begin bringing the additional forces home.

Although many of Obama's advisers had also concluded that the surge strategy had not worked, a White House official is quoted as saying aides initially rebuffed the CIA analysis because it could undercut Obama's argument for withdrawing forces on schedule.

"We didn't want it," the official said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 



    

Top Stories

Black Cap Williamson banned from bowling

WELLINGTON: New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson has been banned from bowling his occasional off-spin in international cr...

Punjab govt. seeks four-month time for LB polls

ISLAMABAD: Punjab government has sought four-month time from Supreme Court (SC) for holding local bodies election in the...

Car bombings kill at least 33 people in Iraq

BAGHDAD: A new wave of car bombs ripped through commercial areas in the Iraqi capital and areas to the south Tuesday, ki...

Altaf, Zardari discuss law & order in Sindh

KARACHI: Muttahidat Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain and former president and co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Pa...

White House weighs petition to deport Justin Bieber

WASHINGTON: As if Barack Obama didn't have enough problems to deal with already, his administration now is being asked t...

Sindh CNG stations reopen after 24 hours

KARACHI: CNG stations across Sindh including Karachi reopened after 24-hour closure at 8:00 AM today (Tuesday), media re...

Gas leakage blast kills 1, hurts 3 in Quetta

QUETTA: An explosion occurred at a house due to gas leakage, killing at least one person and wounding three others here ...

Ministry of CAD decisions put students,teachers & parents in a fix

Islamabad:Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD) indecisive attitude put the students as well as paren...

10-year-old maid allegedly tortured to death in Lahore

LAHORE: A 10-year-old girl, who works as maid, was allegedly tortured to death in Lahore, medi reported.Sources said tha...

Five friends voluntarily embrace death: police

THATTA: Police after initial investigation claimed that five friends, who were allegedly killed in Noori Jam Tamachi, vo...

Pakistan wants good relations with all neighbouring countries: PM Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan wanted good relations with all the neighbouring countries....

IHC dismisses Musharaf’s pleas; verdict issued

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday issued 11-page detailed verdict over the intra-court appeal filed by f...

Pakistan to get $550m after IMF review meeting on Dec. 19

WASHINGTON: International Monetary Fund (IMF) first quarter review meeting on Pakistan’s loan programme will be held on...

Kayani thanks Corps Commanders for extending support

RAWALPINDI: The 166th Corps Commanders Conference was held at General Headquarters on Thursday.   Outgoing Chief of Ar...

3 women held captive for 30 years: UK police

LONDON: Three women have been freed after spending 30 years held captive in a south London home, including one woman be...

Iran has slowed work on atomic facilities: IAEA

NEW YORK: Iran appears to have dramatically slowed work on its atomic energy program since the summer, U.N. officials s...

Young Frenchman too heavy to fly will go home by ship

NEW YORK CITY: A young Frenchman who weighs 230 kilograms (500 pounds) and was deemed too heavy to fly on a jetliner ar...

Ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf released

ISLAMABAD: Adiala Jail authorities have formally released the country’s former military strongman General (retd) Pervez...

Bolivia coca ambush leaves 4 security force members dead

LA PAZ: A weekend ambush and hostage-taking involving police and Bolivian coca growers has left four people dead, offic...

Muslim pilgrims ritually stone devil as hajj nears end

MINA: Throngs of Muslim pilgrims took part in devil-stoning ritual for a second day Wednesday in Saudi Arabia's Mina Va...


Feature / Analysis

  • The Reason Why Israel Killed so Many Pregnant Women in Gaza

    After five weeks of Israeli bombing and invasion the United Nations re...

    Read More »

  • While Israel Kill Gaza's Children, Media Shield The Truth About Hamas

    As the people of Gaza find momentary respite to impact of Israel's bru...

    Read More »

  • The cave dwellers of Bamiyan

    The sandstone cliffs of Afghanistan's Bamiyan province are most famous...

    Read More »

  • Why America's war in Afghanistan is no victory

    Afghanistan is the only country in the world where American soldiers a...

    Read More »


Opinion

  • How Can We Destroy Love?

    Love is a serious problem in our world. There is too much of it. So I ...

    Read More »

  • The Anniversary of Rabaa and Sisi's Genocide

    General Sisi’s military coup claimed that it was put in effect to answ...

    Read More »

  • National Unity Committee Update

    The National Unity Committee, a joint commission appointed by both pre...

    Read More »

  • In Afghan election dispute, enter the DC lobbyists

    Afghanistan presidential hopeful Ashraf Ghani is spending nearly $150,...

    Read More »