Is the Afghanistan war winnable? What power do we really have against North Korea missile launch attacks and nuclear weapons?
Dr. Starr interviews Dr. William Taylor, Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.
Show Dates: 9/17/09 & 9/24/09
Part One (Afghanistan – 15 minutes).
Part Two (North Korea – 10 minutes).
Elected to the Infantry Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame, Colonel Taylor was director of debate at West Point. He was awarded the Air Medal for Heroism in Combat in Vietnam in 1968. Dr. Taylor joined the Center for Strategic & International Studies in 1981 and served as Senior Vice President and Director of the International Security Program. General David Petraeus – Commander of the Central Command – was his student at West Point.
UPDATE! SECRET REPORT FIRST DISCUSSED ON RIGHTS RADIO ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2009 – FIVE DAYS AHEAD OF WASHINGTON POST: General Stanley McChrystal says America is already losing in Afghanistan, and the war will end in failure without more troops.
President Obama says “We will test what resources we have against our strategy.” There are no troops available to send to Afghanistan until January 2010. General McChrystal warns that he needs more troops and a new strategy or the allied mission will probably end in failure. He admits that the Taliban insurgents have made advances in the last year, and that unless the tide is turned back they may be unbeatable within 12 months. “Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months)… risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible,” writes General McChrystal. The 66-page report was presented to Robert Gates, the US Defense Secretary, on August 30 and leaked in the Washington Post on September 21, 2009.
Dr. Taylor has appeared on major television and radio networks worldwide more than 1,200 times and has had more than 500 articles published in major newspapers internationally. He was the subject of a Washington Post Magazine cover story, as well as a Washington Times “Doers in Washington” feature. His 17 published books include American National Security, 5th ed. (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999) and American National Security: Policy and Process, 6th rev. ed. (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009).
Afghanistan could become another Vietnam. There is enormous debate growing in academia. I don’t think you can paint liberals versus conservatives in this debate.
We have a still classified report coming from the military commander in Afghanistan. I think it’s going to say that we must stay the course. I will give you all the reasons why we should stay the course, but if you give me two minutes, I can also tell you all the reasons why it won’t work.
We’ve been there before in Iraq, where we were losing terribly. Then General Petraeus came in with a new counter insurgency strategy that worked – convincing Sunni leaders to work with us at the village and provincial levels.
But we didn’t do that in Iraq until the last year and a half. It’s what we must do in Afghanistan, but we haven’t had enough time.
On South Korea:
Using our soldiers on the ground in South Korea, we can kill and destroy their military forces. But in the process, our allies in Japan and South Korea – and all the American civilians on the ground – would take hundreds of thousands of casualties. In a few hours, North Korea could obliterate the capitol of South Korea, incinerating over 25 million people overnight.
We would win, but we would take so many casualties that it would be a pyhrric victory. So we have to find another way to get North Korea out of the nuclear business – through quiet diplomacy.
Were the two journalists captured by North Korea part of a secret plan to restart diplomatic talks? We’ll know soon enough…