Afghanistan was always going to be a harder fight than Iraq.
It is also a fight that must be won – not just for the people of Afghanistan, but for the people of Pakistan. If Afghanistan falls, Pakistan will be in danger.
If Pakistan falls, the world will be in danger.
So I was pleased when Obama announced a ‘surge’ of 30,000 troops, even though it had taken months of damaging dithering for that announcement to be made.
But he also announced that troops would be withdrawn beginning in 18 months time.
As Ken Taylor at The Minority Report points out, this has turned an almost certain victory against terrorism and oppression into an almost certain defeat:
… the pathetic announcement that The United States would begin pulling out of Afghanistan in July of 2011 clearly signals to the enemy that all they need do is wait eighteen months until we leave and then step in and take over the country. Even an imbecile understands that telling an enemy when you plan to leave the field of battle only allows that enemy to hide and bide its time until deescalation.
Common sense demands that a military action never sets a specific end date, but then no one has ever accused Barack Obama of having any common sense. Once again Obama fails to take heed the lessons of Vietnam. At one point the Vietcong were on the verge of surrendering because we had them on the run. Then it was announced that The United States would begin drawing down our troops and the Viet Cong pulled back and went into hiding until the draw down was complete. Within weeks after our signaled withdrawal was over the Vietcong overpowered South Vietnam and have controlled the country since. …
It took more than three months to develop this strategy which is weak and very much designed to appease Obama’s liberal base and a political maneuver rather than a strategy for victory, defeating our enemy, destroying Al Qaeda and the Taliban and leave a stable and secure Afghanistan free of terrorist influence. It seems that Obama’s goal is to leave without victory and offer the Afghans as a lamb of sacrifice for the country to once again becomes a terrorist safe haven after the enemy waits out Obama’s signaled end date of surrender. A danger to the world, a danger to the Afghans and most importantly a danger to The United States.
The article is worth reading in its entirety. The only thing Ken gets wrong is his claim that being a danger to the US is more important than being a danger to the Afghans or to the world. But since the US is still bearing the major part of the cost of that war, a measure of parochialism is understandable.