Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Afghan Blunder

There are some issues that cannot be politicized, and war is one of them. The consequences are just too dire because it puts our brave men and women in harm’s way. But Obama’s recent decision to withdraw the 33,000 troop surge, which he ordered just 18 months prior to this decision, is strictly a political decision. In my mind, Obama had one of two decisions he could have made about the war in Afghanistan. One, he could have opted to add as many troops as necessary to win the war (remember, he did not give the generals the number of troops they requested for the surge initially) or two, he could admit defeat and completely withdraw all troops. To be honest, I would have been okay with either decision for a number of reasons. Let’s face facts; Afghanistan is an extremely difficult place to win a war, especially without 100% support from our President and Congress. Afghanistan’s terrain is tough; the enemy blends in with civilians; it has a corrupt government; our enemies and allies are supporting the terrorists; it is a drug haven; and so many other reasons makes Afghanistan a tough place to wage a war.

Obama’s troop reduction decision is once again the use of half measures and not a full commitment to the conflict. This will ultimately not only lead to defeat, but the useless loss of American life. There is no doubt the Obama decision to scale back forces needlessly puts more Americans in harm’s way, not less. Let’s all understand the potential consequences of Obama’s decision to scale back forces because it comes during the “fighting season” (when it is warm), he is ignoring the advice of his generals, and less troops means less forces to protect each other.

The bottom line is we all know the true motive behind Obama’s decision. First, he is trying to please both the right and left at the same time (typical Obama - sitting on the fence). Secondly, his decision to end the surge by September 2012 is conveniently two months before the 2012 election (the time when campaigns and debates are in overdrive). In other words, Obama believes this is his best hope to win reelection. Thus, his decision to scale back the surge in Afghanistan is solely to help his prospects of being reelected. Make no bones about it; the Obama decision in Afghanistan is purely political and our brave men and women will have to pay for his selfish decision.

I am a true believer in Laissez Faire politics - meaning to stay out of foreign disputes unless it directly affects the safety of Americans. Our leaders felt the terroristic threats from Afghanistan were a direct threat to our national security. If that is true, then we should finish the effort since I doubt the threat to our national security has improved over the course of the war. Individuals, companies, and our government should not start a project or task without fully intending to meet the goals and objectives. We should not start something without fully intending to finish it. Obama started the surge strategy then he should have the conviction to see that strategy to its conclusion. It is that simple. After all, if the goal was to rid Afghanistan of terrorists 10 years ago, then that should be the goal today. Obama has once again showed his true colors as being an extremely weak leader who is more interested with his political career than doing what is right and necessary – regardless of the political backlash. If Bush succumbed to politic pressure then we would have lost in Iraq. But Bush had the fortitude to win when everyone else wanted to retreat and claim defeat. That is leadership, doing what is right even if it means committing political suicide.

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