Obama’s real Afghanistan options
Last Updated: 9:16 AM, October 9, 2009
PRESIDENT Obama faces three options in Afghanistan. Hints from the White House suggest that he’s going to choose the worst: a non-decision decision.
Leaving Afghanistan entirely is not one of the options. We need boots on the ground. Even Obama understands that.
The question is: How many boots? Here are the three broad choices on the table:
The McChrsytal Plan: Surge 40,000 more US troops from a weary Army to renew the failing effort to apply our counter-productive counterinsurgency theory — which attempts to cure cancer with herbal tea.
The Biden Strategy: Focus ruthlessly on the destruction of al Qaeda and its auxiliaries across the border in Pakistan or wherever they may appear in Afghanistan. This is the counter-terror practice that’s worked for 3,000 years.
McChrystal: A warrior, not a strategist.
The “Vote Present” Strategy: Send a token increase of 10,000 or so troops, make cosmetic changes to the mission, try to please everyone partially — and kick the can down the road.
The evidence on the ground, the lessons of history, and our real security needs strongly favor the Biden approach, but giving Gen. Stan McChrystal the full surge he wants would be far better than “more of the same, with new slogans.”
This president has to make a decision. A real decision. But it looks like he’s going to wiggle, squirm and dodge, then go in front of the teleprompter to vote “present” again.
Worsening the muddle, the troop-level debate is being disgracefully politicized on all sides.
Obama’s seeking the least politically damaging choice, rather than the most effective military approach. He’s less concerned with winning than with avoiding blame.
Shameful, shameful, shameful.
via Obama’s real Afghanistan options.