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Sometimes, someone just needs to point out the obvious: As the number of troops in Afghanistan has gone up, so has terrorism.

The past two weeks, we’ve seen a marked increase in the amount of terrorist activity focused on the U.S.. There was of course the Underwear bomber on Christmas Day on a plane from Amsterdam bound for Detroit.

A week later on December 31st, the Taliban killed seven CIA agents using a suicide bomber posing as a possible informant.

Last Friday (January 1st) someone drove a car filled with explosives onto the football (soccer) field in Pakistan during a match, killing 88 and wounding 50 more.

Casualties in Afghanistan have skyrocketed since U.S. troop levels have increased. President Obama sent an additional 20,000 troops to Afghanistan last March and 30,000 more in November. The result: a dramatic rise in the number of targeted suicide attacks against the United States and its allies.

Meanwhile, as American troops depart Iraq, the number of U.S. troops killed there has plummeted to its lowest level since the war began, with “only” 150 American troops killed in all of 2009. December was the first month since the Iraq War began to have ZERO U.S. casualties. Meanwhile, the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan saw its highest number ever last year: 319, more than double the year before (155)… which hasn’t happened since 2005 (when the number of those K.I.A. jumped from 52 in 2004 to 99 in 2005 – see previous link for data.)

Hmm. Maybe Iraq WASN’T “the central front in the War on Terror”?

When the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan were below 10K and the Taliban were slowly reclaiming the country, Republicans were preparing a victory party. Last September, it was determined the Taliban now has a PERMANENT presence in more than 80 percent of the country (pdf map).

A tiny group of insurgents don’t control 80% of a country the size of California without attracting new recruits. And THAT is where the Obama military policy in Afghanistan has failed. Last September, I wrote here on how a “non-military counter insurgency strategy” was the ONLY way to achieve victory in Afghanistan. Violence only serves as a recruiting tool for the other side, and they can recruit soldiers far faster than we can kill them. You don’t defeat an insurgency by creating martyrs. You win by depriving them of willing recruits. Give them reason to prefer you over your enemy. Where they offer only war & death, you build roads, and school houses, and hospitals. How many Afghan farmers could you subsidize for the cost of one Predator Drone ($3.2 million dollars)?

Again, just stating the obvious: the recent rise in terrorist activity is a direct result of the increased American troop presence in Afghanistan. Is there ANYONE that would dispute that? And yet, it seems like it needs to be said. The only question is: Will the Obama Administration recognize this simple fact and respond with a dramatic change in strategy for 2010, or will they follow “the Bush Game Plan” of sending in more and more troops until they can just hand the whole mess off to the next Administration?

POSTSCRIPT: Just a random thought that crossed my mind last week: If the Underwear Bomber was promised his “72 virgins” in the afterlife, just what did he plan on doing with them after blowing his junk to kingdom-come? <chuckle>

Also, while Mugsy’s Rap Sheet is a labor of love, it does not receive enough visitors each day to qualify for any of the prominent Progressive Advertising Webrings (ads that link sites). While I could sign up to include “generic” advertising via “Google Ad-Sense”, etc, I’ve resisted so far because I would have almost no control over the types of ads that would appear on this site (including Conservative advertising for agendas I oppose). So instead, I’ve willingly covered the small expense of hosting this blog and all the work that goes into it out of my own pocket & free time. But, times being what they are, the allure of recouping part or all of my expenses by allowing a few ads on this site is attractive. But since it is you, dear reader, that must look at them, I’ll leave it up to you:

Would you care if Mugsy’s Rap Sheet started using ads?
No prob. Go for it.
Ack! No ads, please!
Don`t care/other.
Results


 

Thanks. I’ll rerun the poll till the end of the month. You’ll know what the results were if you start seeing ads on this site come February. 🙂
 

UPDATE: (Regarding last week’s review of my predictions for 2009: I am reminded by “Crook’s & Liars” that Attorney General Eric Holder DID investigate accusations of torturing detainees held in U.S. custody, so I’m upgrading this prediction to “partial” and giving myself credit.)
 


 

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