Warning Signs In Afghanistan

The press has been curiously uninterested in Afghanistan of late. Actually, perhaps it’s not so curious. The domestic agenda has moved to the forefront, the President they support seems uninterested in what’s happening, and bad news could complicate things for the Democrats.

However, the situation in Afghanistan seems to be becoming increasingly perilous. Pakistan is considerably less stable than it was a year ago, when Bush was in office. Meanwhile, the recent Afghan elections were a mess while the number of troops killed have reached new highs.

Then there’s the home front, where Americans are turning against the war in ever greater numbers. According to a WAPO poll, “seven in 10 Democrats say the war has not been worth its costs” and “51 percent (of adults) now say the war is not worth fighting.”

Barack Obama bears much of the responsibility for this slide. He has treated the war on terror like a joke. He wants to close Gitmo, prosecute CIA agents for being too tough on Al-Qaeda, and he has put very little time into bucking up public opinion. Many Americans are undoubtedly saying, “If the President doesn’t think it’s important, why should I view it as important?”

But, it is important. We are fighting Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and allowing them to make a comeback would be seen as a huge propaganda victory for them, plus it could allow them to once again use that country as a base to launch attacks against the US. Additionally, Pakistan is now in danger, too. A collapse in Afghanistan could lead to a collapse in Pakistan that would allow the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to acquire nuclear weapons.

Granted, this is not an easy situation to deal with. Afghanistan is a poor, primitive, tribal society, NATO has been almost useless, and Obama’s biggest supporters are at best, indifferent to winning the war. Still, he is the Commander-In-Chief, which means he is going to be held personally responsible for how Afghanistan turns out. He needs to figure that out, devote a little more time and effort to that conflict, and assure that we leave victorious.

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