October 6, 2009


No Rush to Escalate (E.J. Dionne Jr., October 5, 2009 , Washington Post)

Obama has said over and over that the war in Afghanistan, unlike the war in Iraq, is necessary. "We are in Afghanistan to confront a common enemy that threatens the United States, our friends and our allies," he declared in March. He cannot walk away from that.

But while his March speech was sweeping in certain ways, he defined a limited core objective. "I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal," he said, "to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future." These are the words that will give Obama room to reconsider his policy. [...]

Is this a situation in which Obama should commit tens of thousands more troops for a lengthy war? Should it surprise us that some administration officials are asking why it is that al-Qaeda has weakened even as the Taliban has grown stronger? These skeptics now question whether routing the Taliban is actually essential to Obama's core goal of defeating al-Qaeda.

If the Administration doesn't like who the Afghans elect to govern themselves and doesn't care if the Taliban takes over then they should just withdraw entirely.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 6, 2009 6:14 AM
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