The White House is disputing reports today that President Obama has agreed to send more troops to Afghanistan.
His top commander in the field, General Stanley McChrystal, wants to send 40,000 more troops. Unlike the buildup in Iraq, however, the “surge” in Afghanistan would take almost a full year, rather than five months.
“I have gained confidence that there’s not an important question out there that has not been asked, and that we haven’t asked — that we haven’t answered to the best of our abilities,” President Obama said.
Presumably, that includes “why not just bring everybody home?”
But the answer has yet to reach Clifford Taylor of Two Harbors, Minn., whose son, Aaron, was killed in Afghanistan last month. He wrote to MPR’s Tim Nelson today:
“It’s been 4 weeks now since our son, Marine Ssgt Aaron Taylor died in Afghanistan. The nightmare begins again every morning when we wake up and realize it’s not a dream.
We went to Camp Pendleton for a memorial service for Aaron on Oct. 28th.
After the service, they took us out to lunch. The C.O. invited us to his house for dinner the following evening. Nice guy, nice family. He has a wife, 2 young daughters and a dog. I told stories about Aaron and all the good times we shared. The whole thing lasted precisely 2 hours and then we were outta there. ‘Thanks for coming. We’re so glad to have met you. Here’s some cookies and a bottle of water.’ All very precise. Of course, that’s how the Marine Corps is. Very rigid and precise. It was a nice 2 hours. I bragged about my son and they all listened intently.
But it seemed like it was something they’d done many times before. A young man’s life. Gone in the blink of an eye. A promising future of prosperity, a wife, children and lots of good times ahead. Gone. Poof. I can imagine them saying after we left, ‘Geez, nice family. What a shame. Ah well…’
Shortly after, we heard about the 16 more lives lost in Afghanistan because of the helicopters that went down and I thought of the ripple effect it would have on all the families involved. I never realized how many lives are effected by the loss of one single individual until my son was gone.
The other day, Senator Amy Klobuchar called to convey her condolences, and after a short chat about Aaron, she gave me the phone number of her “go to guy” in case we have any issues. I told her I have an issue right now.
She asked what it was and I said, ‘Get our guys out of there! Now! Please!
Before more families have to go through this Hell.’ She said, ‘I wish it were that simple.’
One young man’s life touched so many people. Every day we hear about dozens of civilians being killed by suicide bombers and our military personnel being killed by roadside bombs. Each victim touched so many lives.
Such a huge ripple effect. The solution seems pretty simple to me.”
(h/t: Tim Nelson)