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 Obama's Administration:

Insurgency Strategy or Suicide Strategy 

By Ali Al-Hail, May 20, 2009


Obama's Administration: Not Counter Insurgency Strategy What Is Needed, But Counter Suicide Strategy Is Desperately Needed
   The apparently, 21, 000 more U.S. troops' decision to be 'pumped' into the 'suicidal row' in Afghanistan is extremely, detrimental. Given the fact that, the already presence of U..S. 38, 000 troops and personnel in Afghanistan, has long been psychologically, troubled, sending yet, more troops indicates how dilemmatic the U.S. Administration's situation is in Afghanistan.
   This week's incidence of a U.S. soldier in a U.S. mental health center in Iraq, going on shooting rampage, killing five of his colleagues and injuring two, shows how despair U.S. troops are. Many U.S. reliable military sources alarm that, U.S. troops and personnel who have been committing suicide since 2001 in Afghanistan and Iraq , far surpassed  those who were killed in combats.
   Additionally, U.S. counseling and U.S. mental health centers in Afghanistan and in Iraq have phenomenally, been since 2001, receiving U.S. troops and personnel with war stress mental related symptoms. Even those who return to the U.S. for being not suitable to fight, quite often find themselves lost and disorientated, having family problem, or difficulties to adjust etc., some of whom find in the suicide an exit to their ordeals.
   Alarmed by the dramatic rate of suicide attempts, Sen. Jim Webb, D-Virginia, introduced legislation in February, 2008 to improve the military's suicide-prevention programs. He boldly, put it: "Our troops and their families are under unprecedented levels of stress due to the pace and frequency of more than five years of deployments."
   Further, the current recession in the U.S. of which so many people fell victims has conceivably, added insult to injury regarding U.S. military members in Afghanistan and Iraq . Military statistics detect more suicides occurred amongst U.S. troops and personnel in 2008, as a result of war stress related factors combined with those of recession news from home.
   In order to tackle the latter, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, took to the Senate floor in February, 2008 calling for more urgent aid for military recruits, most notably, for U.S. troops and personnel coming back home from war fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Murray clearly, stated"
"Our brave service members who face deployment after deployment without the rest, recovery and treatment they need are at the breaking point," She further complained to Congress that it has granted "hundreds of millions of dollars" to U.S. deployed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq to enhance its limited ability to provide mental health and counseling treatment, this congress generosity, however, according to Murray fell short of satisfying U.S. troops and personnel on other essential grounds that go beyond what money could do.
   "It takes leadership and it takes a change in the culture of war," she stated. Murray also, said certain soldiers had reported from the war frontiers they received nothing more than an 800 number to call for help, which is really, pathetic.
"Many soldiers need a real person to talk to," she said. "And they need psychiatrists and they need psychologists."
   Having dealt with all of that, according to the CNN, five suicide attempts occurred amongst U.S.. troops and personnel in Iraq , on a daily basis. Though, committing suicide or an attempt of it, is not in anyway alien to U.S. military, the U.S. wars on Afghanistan and Iraq worsened an already existing phenomenon (, February 3rd,  2008.)
   Moreover, 2,100 soldiers and personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq attempted to commit suicide in 2007. According to Col. Elspeth Cameron-Ritchie, an Army psychiatrist.     
"Suicide attempts are rising and have risen over the last five years," and this dramatic increase in military suicide attempts is fearfully, expected to resume rising as long as U.S. maintain its unclear vision behind its offensive wars on Afghanistan and Iraq.
   To conclude, this administration has not learnt from the past administration. It repeats the same mistakes and it worsens the situation.
    The latest reports from Washington, to dispatch more 21,000 U.S. troops to die in combats or to kill themselves because of feeling guilty or to fall mentally, ill and disturbed etc. as a result of war related stress, is not in anyway a means of counter insurgence strategy. Such an assertion is completely, misleading.
   Taliban and Al Qaeda are beyond defeat. U.S. NATO, IESAF and Karzai's army have been fighting them since October 7th, 2001.
   They are beyond defeat for two main reasons, of which U.S. administration is not seemingly, aware. First; Taliban fight for a noble cause, from their point of view, for which they are ready to die. Secondly; U.S. has been since 2001 defeating themselves, and leaving the platform for Taliban and Al Qaeda, as a result of killing innocent Afghans.
   Latest anti-Taliban-afghans taking to the street, demonstrating last week U.S. air strike that massacred, injured and mutilated reportedly, more than 150 civilians, including women and children had left no credibility to the U.S. in Afghanistan . Now, after eight years (8) since the war on Afghanistan began, Taliban, despite U.S. denial, confusion concealing, and withholding information from U.S. taxpayers has not been defeated, if it's not making victory over the U.S. and even determining the Afghan's fighting scenario.    
   Had U.S. with all its potentials, been capable of defeating them, it could've done that by now. But, it is not, and it won't. All indications strengthen this premise.
Weren't eight years (8) sufficiently, adequate for four forces under U.S. command, possessing the most sophisticated armaments ever known by a living memory, for defeating a handful of fighters with relatively, ordinary weapons? Food for thought!  
   Regardless the strategy, U.S. wants to take, it's too late and the damage has already been done and it's absolutely, beyond remedy. Therefore, it's quite odd that, Obama's administration still thinks Afghanistan is the main focus of his foreign policy.  
Professor, Dr. Ali Al-Hail, Professor of Mass Communication, Twice Fulbright

Award Winner, Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Vice-President Of Qatar Fulbright Group, CSR Award Judge and Board Member of AUSACE, ASC, IABD, NEBAA, BEA, IMDA and EAJMC American Associations.
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