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Afghanistan Escalation Creep
WASHINGTON - February 19 - The New York Times reports: "President Obama will send an additional 17,000 American troops to Afghanistan this spring and summer in the first major military move of his presidency, White House officials said on Tuesday. The increase would come on top of 36,000 American troops already there, making for an increase of nearly 50 percent."
MARILYN YOUNG Professor of history at New York University, Young is the author of books including Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam: Or, How Not to Learn From the Past and most recently, Bombing Civilians: A 20th Century History. She said today: "The uncertainty around Afghan policy seems to be spreading, yet, the administration just announced an increase of troops. This is one of the ways events seem to echo U.S. escalation in the Vietnam War. Instead of saying: this is just not working, a military solution cannot succeed, nor is there a viable political solution the U.S. can engineer, the administration seems to have chosen to add troops incrementally and drone attacks exponentially." Young recently appeared on Bill Moyers Journal.
JOE VOLK, via Caroline Anderson Executive secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, which sent a letter to Obama on the Afghanistan escalation on Wednesday, Volk said today: "Bombing civilians and wielding the barrel of a gun will only help extremists recruit more fighters. It failed in Iraq, and it will fail in Afghanistan. What we need is diplomacy, development, and cooperation with China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, India, and other important regional actors." More Information
The AP reported Tuesday: "The number of Afghan civilians killed in armed conflict rose 40 percent last year to a record 2,118 people, the U.N. said in a new report Tuesday."