I see some parallels between Soviet-Afghan and OEF, notably in the haphazard way troops are being utilized ("Force Protection" for example, is not a mission or reason for being in-country, it's just something you do), and the pressure coming from career politicians and the public. Gorbachev, in 1985, came to power and made similar demands of the Red Army that Obama has made: "Find a solution in 1 year". To appease the public, he drew down conventional forces while secretly increasing the number of spetznaz in-country and operations ramped up for awhile. And when the Muj were on the ropes, Gorby drew back. Same shit.
This is why I screamed with frustration when Julia Gillard got in here in Australia. All we hear from our politicians is about force protection, reducing casualties and getting out - it is infuriating. This is all beside the fact that Defence seems to be the main area from which they are cutting funding to meet campaign goals, when another campaign promise was not to cut spending.
Anybody interested in the Australian Army in recent years should read an interesing article by Jim Molan - essentially regarding the way that the govt. and defence are swinging towards only ever using SF for direct action and dedicating the RAInf to force protection. Pretty interesing stuff.
http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transc ... ournal.pdf
I hope to hell that by the time I get in a re-election has been called and we have a government in charge who knows to ignore the arbitrary anti-war elements in parliment.