Official Army History: Bush Administration Neglected Afghan War, Diverted Resources to Iraq

From Think Progress:

During President Obama’s December speech announcing a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, he noted that the effort was finally getting the resources it needed. During the previous administration, Obama said, “commanders in Afghanistan repeatedly asked for support to deal with the reemergence of the Taliban, but these reinforcements did not arrive.” “In early 2003, the decision was made to wage a second war, in Iraq,” Obama said, and “for the next six years, the Iraq war drew the dominant share of our troops, our resources, our diplomacy, and our national attention.”Former Bush administration officials fired back, claiming the Iraq war did not deprive resources from Afghanistan. Former White House adviser Karl Rove said “the United States had, at the time what the military felt was an appropriate level of resources.” Bush’s Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called Obama’s comments a “bald misstatement, at least as it pertains to the period I served as Secretary of Defense.” Later, Rumsfeld spokesperson Keith Urbahn turned up the heat, accusing Obama distorting the facts.

Unfortunately for Rumsfeld, Rove and their neo-con allies, the Army’s official history of the first four years of the war completely contradicts their claims. The New York Times reported this week that according to the official history, as early as late 2003, the Army historians assert, “it should have become increasingly clear to officials at Centcom and [the Department of Defense] that the coalition presence in Afghanistan did not provide enough resources” for a proper counterinsurgency campaign. Paraphrasing the history, the Times notes that American forces were “hamstrung by inadequate resources” and thus “missed opportunities to stabilize Afghanistan during the early years of the war.”

[Read more at Think Progress]