Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Military Man Argues for Ramping Down in Afghanistan, Though Not to Zero

This blog has mentioned the potential inflationary implications of a serious ramp-up in the U. S. military effort in Afghanistan. I have pointed out how all important inflationary periods since 1900 have coincided with U. S. wars or their aftermath. (Perhaps the end of the Carter era was an exception, though I would say that the inflation of the late 1970s can be traced to the Vietnam War and a guns and butter policy, with pro-inflationary Fed policies and strange U. S. support for the oil price increases of the mid-1970s adding fuel to the flame.

In any case, the President's hand-picked commander in Afghanistan, General McChrystal, wants more troops.
A powerful rebuttal to this strategy from Ralph Peters, appears in today's New York Post; click HERE to read it. Here's a part of this brief piece:

Meanwhile, we've forgotten why we went to Afghanistan in the first place. (Hint: It wasn't to make nice with toothless tribesmen.) Here's a simple way to conceptualize our problem: A pack of murderous gangsters holes up in a fleabag motel. The feds raid the joint, killing or busting most of them. But some of the deadly ringleaders get away.

Should the G-men pursue the kingpins, or hang around to renovate the motel? Common sense says: Go after the gangsters. They're the problem, not the run-down bunkhouse.

It's especially interesting to find an anti-war point of view from someone who is often associated with the opposite.

The President, having stressed the great importance of some form of success in Afghanistan in August, is reportedly unsure of whether to authorize more troops there. From an economic and financial standpoint, at least for the immediate future, matters will be stabler in the U. S. if he reverses course and listens to Colonel Peters. And if the decision is to ramp up the military effort further, the economy needs it to please be funded properly-- meaning not with debt--as the Democrats used to complain about the Iraq War just a few years ago.

(This post is not spefically agreeing with Col. Peters, as EBR tries not to make sweeping comments about large geopolitical issues involved in this issue, as its focus is on economic and financial issues, with occasional exceptions for DoctoRx to comment on health care.)

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