By Farah Stockman, Globe Staff
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration seems poised to commit significantly more blood and treasure to Afghanistan for the next three years to try to turn the tide of the insurgency there.
A copy of the yet-to-be-officially-released plan submitted to the president by the top US commander in Afghanistan, Army General Stanley McChrystal, and the US ambassador in Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, spells out how the dream team in Kabul hopes to execute their mission over the next three years, with special emphasis on showing measurable success within the "crucial window" of 12 to 18 months.
The report, obtained by Politico (click here to view it), sets out an ambitious agenda of improving local governance in Afghanistan, improving access to jobs, credit and justice, and protecting the population among other things. They plan to fight drug traffickers and corruption as well.
Although no budget numbers or troop levels are attached to the document, the 41-page report dated Aug. 10 mentions that the effort in Afghanistan "requires a commitment to provide military commanders and civilians on the ground with the resources they need to execute the president's strategy. This is based on a strong recognition that the effort in Afghanistan to date has lack unity of effort and the resources for success."
The nation’s top military officer told the Globe on Aug. 25 that due to years of neglect and focus on Iraq, the United States is "starting over" in Afghanistan despite President Obama sending 21,000 additional troops.
Acknowledging that public support for the war is waning, Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the US operation needs “12 to 18 months to turn this thing around.’’ "It is doable, but it is going to take some time,’’ he said, urging Americans to be patient.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.