Time for Obama to Step Up in Afghanistan

McChrystalIn today’s Washington Post, Bob Woodward reports on a long-awaited request from Obama’s hand-picked general in Afghanistan, requesting more troops for the war that candidate Obama claimed he wanted to win.

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal says emphatically: “Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) — while Afghan security capacity matures — risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.”

His assessment was sent to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Aug. 30 and is now being reviewed by President Obama and his national security team.

McChrystal concludes the document’s five-page Commander’s Summary on a note of muted optimism: “While the situation is serious, success is still achievable.”

Now parts of the President’s party, desperately seeking a war to lose after being thwarted in Iraq, will turn up the pressure for surrender and retreat. I continue to be hopeful that Obama, who retained Bush’s Defense Secretary and Iraq strategy, will not want to be known to history as the president who lost in Afghanistan.

8 thoughts on “Time for Obama to Step Up in Afghanistan

  1. Alexander didn't have MSNBC. Obama said the war in Afghanistan is one of necessity for the US but he knows his base won't support him so he won't do what he said we need to do in order to turn the tide so I guess troops deaths there will be in vain.

  2. Don't count Obama out. He's an intelligent thinker who deliberates and makes sound decisions, in my opinion. As part of his base, I don't think I'd question why he's doing it if he gives concrete reasons based on fact, not on imagined conditions that aren't there. We want it straight. If it's a good decision, I'd back him on it.

  3. It is true that Alexander the Great had probably the greatest success in that region, but even the Greeks had to leave after a while.

    Kirk, "Yes, but we could take Alexander". Maybe now, with F-16s against bronze swords, but it would be very doubtful of we could take him, if we had to face him then.

    I'm still very, very uncertain how "victory" in Afghanistan could be defined, or "victory" in Iraq, or "victory" in the state of mind, which Bush has called "the war on terror".

  4. Politicus, if we leave behind a stable democracy, allied with the United States, that would certainly be a victory, in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. It may not happen in Afghanistan, but the strategy that succeeded in Iraq deserves a chance in Afghanistan as well.

    Defeat, on the other hand, is easy to define. Defeat means being driven out of the country by Islamists.

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