Obama’s Deadly Deadline: What President Obama Really Wants In Afghanistan
Marc Theissen has an excellent piece today about Afghanistan and President Obama’s deadlines:
The deadline is more than a tactical error; it is a strategic miscalculation that undermines almost every element of our efforts in Afghanistan. A withdrawal date undermines the very premise of a counterinsurgency strategy — that by protecting the population, you can earn their trust and get them to help you root out the terrorists and insurgents. As columnist Charles Krauthammer has explained, Afghans will not risk joining us in the fight if they think America will soon be leaving them to the mercy of the Taliban.
The damage goes even deeper than that. The stated purpose of the deadline is to put pressure on Afghan President Hamid Karzai to eliminate corruption and increase the legitimacy and effectiveness of the Afghan government. Instead, it has had the opposite effect — creating a perverse incentive for Karzai to make overtures to the Taliban, and cut deals to stay in power, so that he can cover his bets when the Americans leave.
Here’s my thought: President Obama had little intent to close Guantanamo and has less intent to fight in Afghanistan. He made promises that would get him elected and nothing more.
I felt like his foot dragging on Afghanistan was an exercise in building discontent about the war, and when that didn’t work, he half-heartedly put forth an Afghanistan strategy that hamstrung troops while simultaneously putting them in greater harms way.
What President Obama put into place a couple months ago was a WITHDRAWAL policy disguised as a war policy. Our enemies see this, even if the American people are a little slow to catch on.
General Petreaus is a good soldier. He will comply with the Commander In Chief’s desires. And the CIC points to not wanting to win, but wanting to escape.
War is hard. It’s messy. And I don’t see any desire on President Obama’s part to do the tough, dirty work of getting the job done.
No, this is not good for our allies. No, this is not good for foreign policy. No, this is not, ultimately, good for America.
But it’s great for President Obama politically in advance of the 2012 election.
Remember: There is only one rule President Obama lives by: Is this good for Obama? Answer that question, and you’ll know what decision President Obama makes. Always.
P.S. This is why he dithered and continues to dither on the Gulf Oil Spill. It’s a no-win situation for him. Thus, his paralysis.