'Remembering The Forgotten War'

A growing number of U.S. military officials are pressuring the White House to “accelerate a troop drawdown in Iraq and bulk up force levels in Afghanistan.” Apparently, conditions in the “other” war are deteriorating quickly, and some administration officials now believe Afghanistan may pose a “greater longer-term challenge than Iraq.”

Dan Froomkin asks, "What happens when you leave one war unfinished to go fight another one? Nothing good."

As President Bush and his top aides consider what sort of world they'll be leaving behind, they're apparently realizing -- none too soon -- that they've made quite a mess in Afghanistan, too.

Thom Shanker and Steven Lee Myers write in the New York Times: "Deeply concerned about the prospect of failure in Afghanistan, the Bush administration and NATO have begun three top-to-bottom reviews of the entire mission, from security and counterterrorism to political consolidation and economic development, according to American and alliance officials."

Shanker and Myers describe "a growing apprehension" in the White House "that one of the administration's most important legacies -- the routing of Taliban and Qaeda forces in Afghanistan after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 -- may slip away, according to senior administration official....

Bush's options are severely limited -- by his other policies. "Strained by commitments in Iraq, the American military has few troops available to expand its forces in Afghanistan. 'It is simply a matter of resources, of capacity,' Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress this week."


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