Sunday, September 27, 2009

Afghanistan is now Obama's war

"Mr. Obama owns the war in Afghanistan. He bought it, on credit," says Kori Schake, an associate professor at the United States Military Academy, in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. During his campaign for office, the President said that Afghanistan, and not Iraq is where we should be fighting. Now, with bad military and political news coming in from the Afghan front, the President is hearing advice that says that he shouldn't have to pay the bill.

According to the New York Times, Obama is listening to suggestions of a new strategy in Afghanistan promoted by that great military strategist, Vice-President Joe Biden. Biden's strategy for Afghanistan, like his previous strategy for Iraq, is nothing but retreat by another name. Biden wants to pull back from the counterinsurgency strategy that succeeded in Iraq and focus a much reduced U.S. military and political effort on attacking Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Biden's strategy is the wrong one not only because it is based on a flawed set of assumptions (which it is) but because it signals a lack of will on the part of the West to fight The Long War. Regardless of how such a new strategy would be sold to a dissatisfied, war-weary American public, a fanatical, nihilistic enemy, sworn to our utter destruction, would view it and promote it to their followers as a (another) great victory for their cause.

Eventually, this victory and our utter defeat in Afghanistan will become obvious to the World. Responsibility for this defeat will lie solely with the man who made the decision, President Barack Obama.

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