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He reminds America why we’re fighting, how we almost won in Afghanistan, how we got off course because of Iraq (without laying blame), how we plan to fix it and that this isn’t an open ended commitment. He even goes so far as to talk about when he’ll start bringing people home: July 2011.

All in all, pretty cut and dry.

Sure, there are those who will disagree with this plan, but they think we should just get out altogether. Funny that many of these folks are those who talked about how we should have focused more on Afghanistan back in the day.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Im pretty mixed about this. I really doubt that the additional troops will make any difference. I have thought that our reason for being in afghanistan is much clearer and more defensible than our reasons for invading iraq. At this point in time though the benefits of continued presence just dont appear very high. The political situation in afghanistan is bad. The central government lacks legitimacy and the army is no where near ready to assume defense duties. Its just a giant sink hole. In addition, we could really use the billions that are being spent on the afghanistan project here at home. All of the people worried about deficits and the budget and debt should get behind a way to pay for this escalation but that hasnt happened.

  2. I think it’s a mistake not to leave Afghanistan now. I don’t think there will ever be a “win” there. there’s nothing to win, they’re in a civil war between tribes and towns. You can’t win that for someone.

  3. Chris et al – I marvel at short memories like yours. are we so self centered that we can easily forget that there are vast hordes of Muslims out there literally plotting our distruction, and even more vast hordes of Muslims willing to submit to the most extreme among them if and when it is expedient for them to do so? Do you seriously not see what’s going on, has been going on for some time? Do you really think this has anything whatsoever to do with their “civil war”? I know Bush fumbled horribly, but the problem started well before he came along. We’ve exaserbated the Middle East cauldron of hatred by dipping in and out, meddling when it’s profitable, and ducking out when it’s not. Whether you like it or not, or whether your party or the other is to blame, or your generation or another is to blame, we have been part of the problem – we collectively own it. And when we leave after coming in and stirring trouble – like after the Beirut barracks bombings, after supporting the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, after supporting Saddam Hussein, after supporting the coup in Iran, etc. etc., etc., and like you would have Obama do now, we embolden the people who would do us harm, and undermine our own credibility among those who would partner with us. Everytime we run away, the problem follows us. Do you really think this time it will not? You think that suddenly extremism will stop at middle eastern borders, becuase we want to go home? Where is your evidence of that? It is expensive in blood and treasure being commited to solving a long term problem that we helped create – yes it is. There is no gaurantee that Obama’s strategy will work, but the alternative is sure to bring us more pain. History has proven this to be true.

  4. I have been so wrong on so many of the war calls, that I am hesitant to even weigh in.

    In 2003, like 70% of Americans, I supported GWB’s decision to go into Iraq. My thinking was this – He is the Commander in Chief. His primary job is defending our country against foreign threats. He clearly is in a better position to know if there is a real threat than I am. If the Commander in Chief says there is a real threat that must be dealt with, it is incumbent on us to give him the benefit of any doubt and get behind that decision. I didn’t vote for him, but I supported that decision.

    By the 2004 the benefit of the doubt was gone. The threat claimed by the administration was not found in Iraq, and that made the invasion of Iraq a monstrous mistake. I supported Kerry, because I no longer had any confidence in GWB’s leadership (plus I wanted divided government).

    In 2007, for all the same reasons, I opposed the “surge”. This also proved to be wrong. It is the success of the surge (limited though it may be) that is permitting Obama to proceed with withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq, and at least offering a chance that Iraq may yet emerge as something other than a complete basket case of a country.

    Now I’ve come full circle. Obama is the Commander in Chief. His primary job is defending our country against foreign threats. He clearly is in a better position to know if there is a greater threat in leaving, staying, increasing or decreasing our exposure in Afghanistan. If the Commander in Chief says there is a real threat and this is his best judgment on how to deal with it, it is incumbent on me to give him the benefit of any doubt and get behind that decision. At least until he proves that he cannot be trusted to make the right decision – as I concluded with GWB. I didn’t vote for Obama, but I support this decision, and I support him for making a tough call. Politics still ends at the border for me (well – except for Copenhagen).

  5. Mike you think that all of these problems were caused by “running away”? That’s rediculous, they’re caused by getting involved in situations where there is no “win”. We can’t “win” an internal civil war. The US only has interests in stabilizing an area as far as it takes to meet the real objectives, which clearly has nothing to do with terrorism, or else Bush and Rummy would’ve captured him in 2001 when they had him cornered. Apparently you have short term memory loss.

  6. @ Chris: “Mike you think that all of these problems were caused by “running away”?”

    Not “caused by”; read my post: “Exacerbated by” (although I misspelled it).

    The cause is a combination of hate-based traditions that are prevalent in the middle-east, and America stepping into the middle of it for generations and meddling out of greed. Then when we “run away” when it’s no longer expedient to be there, we embolden those who would do us harm. Look, I’m not saying that brut military force is positively the right tactic – I’m hopeful that the Obama team is going to temper it with smarter anti-insurgency tactics, as well, with less emphasis on “winning” (which is stupid) and more emphasis on achieving a positive result. One may have a point that pulling out could be a smarter tactic, although I disagree. But it is beyond foolish to say that the problem is purely an internal civil war, that we just need to leave it to them to fight out, and that we don’t have a dog in the fight. Uhhh, yes we do.

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