Breaking Brown

June 22, 2011

Afghanistan troop reduction: if you can’t do math, you can’t do politics

mathPosted by a friend on Facebook (Notice I didn’t say “posted by a Facebook friend” because a Facebook friend may not necessarily be a real flesh and blood friend.. but I digress):

“So let me see if I’ve got this straight. POTUS puts 30K troops into Afghanistan 18 months ago and the big announcement will be that he’ll bring 10K home by the end of 2011 and 20K home by the end of 2012? He’s not going to touch the 70K he started with? This is nothing but a shell game.”

If you can’t do math, you can’t do politics.

Those who understand math are fully aware of the awful truth that Obama isn’t “drawing down” anything, especially soldiers. He’s merely shifting around moving parts and hoping we won’t notice that the structure of our effort in Afghanistan is the same as it was under George W. Bush.

In response to the earlier posting, a “Facebook friend” posted this:

“The way wars have been waged, troop numbers imply that each soldier is generic. I’m learning more than I’d like about our modern military. A ‘draw down’ isn’t just a matter of soldiers boarding a plane & flying home. It’s hi-tech, highly specialized & no longer includes ‘grunts.’ Non-military functions are supplied by sub-contractors. I assume President Obama’s numbers came ‘from the field’ & based on its technical & structural factors.
After electing a President, it’s presumed that he’s perpetuating American foreign policy fiascos. Makes me wonder how/if we’d know that, given the alternatives, the best options were used.”

Huh? Say what? So soldiers are now “generic”? And our math is not math because men with big brains and small hearts say so? I’m not looking to understand how the big boys tell their big lies. There are all sorts of varieties of new math afoot, both at the Pentagon and Goldman Sachs. But 1+1 still equals 2. And this is not a withdrawal or a draw down, just a 2012 campaign push. If you knew math, you’d know that.

 

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