Apparently, it takes six months to decide to half-ass McChrystal’s plan and cut 6,000 troops?
Obama admires Abraham Lincoln and his decision to can various generals–including McClellan–for not being aggressive enough to win the Civil War. But Obama, unlike Lincoln, is unpatriotic and a pacifist, dithers about whether victory is worth it, and changes his mind on core objectives–in effect, giving his generals a moving target.
Plus Obama’s adding language to the plan about “off ramps” and what not. So basically we’ll add 35,000 troops, a bit less than double what we have. They’ll accomplish a little more, but nothing game changing. Then we’ll find a reason to leave next June and will do so. A few hundred more young Americans will die than would have otherwise, and this outcome all so Obama doesn’t look too weak in calling it quits sooner on this misguided nation-building effort. This is hardly Lincolnesque . . . more like Hamlet!
I think a deliberate withdrawal or even a limited war is not dishonorable, incidentally. There are times to have flexible definitions of victory. Think of something like the Korean War which ended in an armistice or the conventional victory of expelling Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991. But if you think it’s truly a “war of necessity,” and you think the way to win is to build a functioning Afghan state (as Obama said in March), do it right or change that strategy. Obama is keeping the strategy but under-resourcing it. Further, with his “exit ramp” talk, Obama is basically admitting he’s looking for reason to call it quits. It’s a far cry from the Gettysburg Address. It’s more like a blueprint for our enemies and less committed allies to engineer an American exit.
I actually think Joe Biden’s proposal for a scaled down war using counter-terror operatives is the most sensible and conforms our operation to what the U.S. national interest is in the neighborhood.
Let me speak plainly. I don’t think these illiterate savages deserve democracy or any U.S. efforts to help them. I don’t think it’s in our interest, and the trade off is woefully imbalanced. Afghans and Pakistanis and everyone else in the world just need to learn that if they help our enemies they’ll be punished en masse. For some reason, though, I don’t think Obama can make that kind of warning convincingly. Sadly, neither could the liberal Republican, George W. Bush.
This popular view of collective responsibility was what was most appealing about the Bush doctrine, i.e., you’re with us or you’re against us. But in eight years it’s morphed into “help our enemies and we’ll spend many years and many billions of dollars and many young American lives to drag you into the 21st Century.”
Where’s General Pershing when you need him?!?