It's official. Barak Obama is now George Bush. At least as far as war-fighting is concerned. In tonight's address to the nation, which was more campaign speech than strategy session, Obama revealed his plan for Afghanistan. Which was no plan at all.
Apparently, in Obama's mind, Afghanistan is vital to our national security, unlike Iraq (which he reminded the West Pointers, he opposed). How is Afghanistan vital to our security? He didn't really say, and every time he did mention the country he appended Pakistan to the name. We use drones to attack Pakistan for the most part, so why the need for the current troops, plus 35,000 more?
While declaring Afghanistan such a vital national security interest, Obama also set a time line of 18 months before troops start moving out of the theater. Even Bob Schaeffer of CBS News was incredulous in restating Obama's apparent contradiction...a vital war with a time limit. (Although Katie Couric stupidly tried to explain to Shaeffer that all Barak was doing was signalling the Afghan government we couldn't stay there forever. Shaeffer didn't swallow that bit of news, and even re-stated that our short term involvement was the ultimate Taliban goal).
What we ended up hearing was a war rationale with no strategic end or goal , no declaration of what would constitute a victory, a 35,000 strong troop surge, and a time limit for a supposedly vital war. None of that makes any sense at all, and all of it sounds exactly like the actions taken by George Bush, except Bush had the sense never to set a public deadline. Let's see if CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, and MSNBC catch the similarity between today's speech and Bush's conduct of both wars, or if they give Barak a pass. I assume Chis Matthews is still feeling a chill run up his leg.
Our President already demonstrated that he wasn't about to honor his own deadline on Iraq, and I doubt he will do so in Afghanistan. And even if his resolve is strong, President Obama tonight pledged what the Taliban has always expected---we're not in it for the long haul. And as soon as we leave, the Taliban will be back in power. Thus, either Obama will be forced to leave troops in there beyond his first term, or in the alternative, more Americans (and NATO troops) will die without a clear objective or end game and a final result of the pre-9-11 status quo ante.
Let's see if anyone else besides the so-called "Faux News" and the far left attack the President as they did his predecessor.