Let me say, right off the bat, that I have so far supported Obamas actions in Afghanistan, for the most part. But, does he really know what he is doing? Is he making it more political than it should be? What is the end game? And more questions, since, his policy is not quite matching his campaign rhetoric: Obamas Befuddling Afghan Policy by Leslie H. Gelb, Wall Street Journal
Im lost on President Barack Obamas Afghanistan policy—along with most of Congress and the U.S. military. Not quite eight months ago, Mr. Obama pledged to defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan by transforming that countrys political and economic infrastructure, training Afghan forces and adding 21,000 U.S. forces for starters. He proclaimed Afghanistans strategic centrality to prevent Muslim extremism from taking over Pakistan—an even more vital nation because of its nuclear weapons. And a mere three weeks ago, he punctuated his commitments by proclaiming that Afghanistan is a war of necessity, not one of choice. White House spokesmen reinforced this by promising that the president would fully resource the war.
Actually, on the campaign trail, Obama spoke mostly of defeating the Tol-e-bon and sending troops into Pok-e-stan, a group and a place I assume have something to do with Pokemon. Anyhow
Yet less than one week ago, Mr. Obama said the following about troop increases: Im going to take a very deliberate process in making those decisions. There is no immediate decision pending on resources, because one of the things that Im absolutely clear about is you have to get the strategy right and then make a determination about resources. He repeated that on Sundays talk shows.
Are we now to understand that he made all those previous declarations and decisions without a strategy he was committed to?Prior to his recent statements, it seemed clear that the president and his advisers had adopted a strategy already—the counterinsurgency one—and that Gen. Stanley McChrystal was tapped precisely because he would implement that plan. The idea, to repeat, was to deploy forces sufficient to clear territory of Taliban threats, hold that territory, and build up the sinews of the country behind that.
No, he made all those previous declarations and decisions based on patronizing voters in an attempt to win an election. He wanted to appear strong on national security, but, now that his hard left base has turned against fighting in Afghanistan, Obama is equivocating.
Americans are now confused and caught somewhere between remembering the presidents insistence on Afghanistans importance to U.S. security and rapidly rising pressure from his party to bring the troops home.
Most conservatives/Republicans support what is going on in Afghanistan, which primarily has to do with killing jihadis. We support Obamas pledge to get Bin Laden, though, that pledge seems to have disappeared like a fart in the wind. We also understand that fighting in Afghanistan and cross border incursions into Pakistan will not end the War on Terrorism. We are simply just killing Islamic extremists, which we can do in many, many, many other places. Until they stop teaching radical Islam, you know, what the Koran actually tells Muslims to do, or kill them all, there will be no end.
So, it begs the question, are more troops necessary, and will they make a difference? Mr. Gelb thinks so. Im not so sure, since so many of the Islamic extremists, following the word of the Koran, operate out of Pakistan. The mission always seemed to be mostly about killing jihadis, and giving the Afghanistan government a chance to be open and free. It can still happen. But, not if there is waffling leadership from the White House. If any leadership.
Crossed at Pirates Cove