Conservative Blog post for September 23
Obama’s Afghanistan Dilema
During the campaign, then Senator Obama cut away at Republican’s historical support for matters of national security. National Security, He argued, could be better secured by being nicer to the other nations of the earth. Then in completing the image of a tough protector of American security, He proceeded to excoriate then President Bush for losing sight of where the real war was – in Afghanistan. Now that it is Obama’s turn to fight the real war, He may be wavering.
In the words of His former South Chicago pastor, the chickens have come home to roost. Afghanistan turned out to be a very tough battle, requiring this President to make the kind of difficult decision that Presidents routinely make. Strategically, the decision point is fairly simple; cut and run or commit the necessary troops and resources to win. The political implications – as they always do – make things difficult.
Obama’s left wing support base understood that His promise to fight the real war in Afghanistan was just a ruse to get elected. The limousine leftists would be all too happy for Obama to declare the thing unwinnable and let the Taliban re-overrun the central Asian wasteland. American prestige in the world needs to be cut down to size anyway so we can’t ‘bully’ other nations.
Centrist voters however – the very ones leaving the Democrat’s ship in droves over His proposed takeover of the health care industry– took the President at his word that the fight in Afghanistan was something that He had the competence to lead. Declaring defeat without a major fight would confirm Obama as just the kind of lefty liberal that the talk shows warned about.
By segmenting his message during the campaign, the President gave two answers to the same national security question. To the left He proclaimed His willingness to surrender American power and prestige in order to secure concessions abroad. To the centrists, He proclaimed Himself a tough fighter who would win in Afghanistan – where the real war should have been fought all along.
Back in January, along with the keys to the White House, President Bush handed Obama a victory in Iraq. Regardless of the wisdom of taking the fight to Baghdad, the ‘win’ was pretty simple to understand. Pulling out of Iraq would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Afghanistan is another matter. Bush figured out how to win in Iraq – overcoming significant initial failures and missteps, Bush’s tenacity carried the country to victory.
Obama is in a real pickle now. After declaring Afghanistan the key battlefield in the War on Terror and after the loathsome George W. Bush managed a significant victory on the battlefields of Iraq, Obama will have to either throw his left wing supporters – Soros and all – under the proverbial bus and commit to winning in Afghanistan, or declare an early surrender and pull out.
Pulling out and declaring defeat carries significant risks however. Giving the Taliban room to regroup and retrain – next door to a nuclear Pakistan – indicates that the United States accepts a significant risk of attack on its homeland. Should another awful attack occur, the public will demand military action, the troops will be sent back to Afghanistan and the President would be keel-hauled in Congress for failing to protect the country.
After being so nice overseas, the friends Obama made in Europe have agreed to contribute absolutely nothing to fighting terrorism. This is nothing short of an abysmal failure. Obama promised that other nations would cooperate more if they were not bullied. Germans sent troops to Afghanistan who can only drink beer. And that is about the extent of support in Europe for all of Obama’s nice-making.
There is significant doubt in European capitals as to whether or not this President has the stomach, backbone and wisdom to win on a difficult battlefield. Even if they didn’t like Bush, they knew he had the backbone and tenacity to win. Now, especially after Russia intimidated Obama into dropping the missile shield around Eastern Europe, Obama has absolutely nothing left with which to bargain (with friend or adversary). He is totally reliant on his oratory to keep the peace. That is a sure sign of impending disaster.
Obama really has only one logical path and it is one that runs totally contrary to His liberal roots – He has to stay and fight and commit to this war for generations. But wait! He excoriated (favorite word of the day) then candidate McCain for saying that we might be in Iraq for a hundred years! Obama the candidate was a man of a few million words. We will see how eager He is to eat a couple hundred thousand of them.
To keep America safer, the military must be employed to fight bad guys – wherever they may be. Afghanistan is difficult, but as opposed to Pakistan, if we find a few of these fanatics in the hills, the military can quickly dispatch them. Plainly put, it takes Al Qaida 18 years to replace a suicide bomber from the ground up. They can recruit some suicidal freaks from other nations, but there is a finite supply of ‘em. Al Qaida can replace weapons from Iran and Russia fairly easily. Replacing men is much more difficult. Still there are a lot of these lunatics so it could take a while. Obama has to commit the resources necessary to dispatch as many terror fighters as can possibly be attracted to the terrorist side in Afghanistan.
Like Iraq, Afghanistan gives us a place where we can actually shoot people whose life’s ambition is to kill as many Americans as they can. Find them there, and they won’t hear much about Miranda rights or the Geneva Convention. Obama’s short term objective should be to keep the enemy engaged there so they won’t engage us here at home. Then over time, and over generations, rebuild the sorry, backward, poppy infested basket case of a nation into something that might one day support itself. This is a horrible prospect and a commitment of generations of national blood and treasure but is really the only logical path to an eventual end to the War on Terror
This huge undertaking is the type of thing Democrats are loath to do themselves since it involves risk, work and reward (Democrats hate all three). And since this President has never held a real job, His method of handling the situation will be to hand it off to someone else so He can micromanage it from Camp David. With memories of LBJ still intact, this could be a disaster as well.
So the country and this President are in a vise with few good options. In the end though, keeping the enemy in front of us on a battlefield is preferable to having them ride behind us on the subway.