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Will American Troops Be Fighting In Afghanistan A Decade From Now?

Posted by DownWithTyranny on June 22nd, 2010

From our partners at DownWithTyranny!

Are these the good guys or the bad guys?

Republicans have held their “Party of No” freak flag high– the one that says “Obstruction now, Obstruction tomorrow, Obstruction forever.” But there has been one issue on which they have been relatively supportive of Obama: expanding and escalating the occupation of and the war against Afghanistan. They were gung ho behind it under Bush and they’ve generally voted for Obama’s pursuit of Bush’s misguided policies. But that could be changing.

Increasingly senile, even more mean-spirited than ever, and in danger of losing a tough reelection bid to a crackpot teabagger, John McCain has been attempting to make political capital by attacking Obama for being some kind of a peacenik. Obama is hardly a peacenik and his strategy for Afghanistan is still an enigma. Yesterday on ABC’s “This Week,” Emanuel seemed to downplay the administration’s stated goal of starting a withdrawal in July of next year but wound up exposing Obama’s divided and irresolute leadership. “Everybody knows there’s a firm date, and that firm date is a date… deals with the troops that are part of the surge, the additional 30,000. What will be determined at that date or going into that date will be the scale and scope of that reduction… That’s not changing. Everybody agreed on that date. General Petraeus did. Secretary Gates did. As also Admiral Mullen agreed,” he said. And the goal is to take this opportunity, focus on what needs to get done, and then on July 2011, is to begin the reduction of troops.” Who’s in charge? Who knows?

Everybody knows the firm date only dealt with the escalation of 30,000? I must have missed that somehow. I get the impression that the Pentagon is trying to increase pressure on the White House to let them keep the war going. That’s what generals do… always. (How else would they get to test out their new toys– like this, the fabulous new pain ray?) Is Obama man enough to stand up to them? Not from anything I’ve been able to see. He seems more concerned with an impossible balancing act than actually ending a war that can never be won.

Gates was on Fox hinting that the war could just keep chugging along indefinitely and that no firm decisions have been made, despite Biden’s assertion to Jonathan Alter that “In July of 2011, you’re going to see a whole lot of people moving out. Bet on it.” What makes it worse is that if clueless political hacks like Richard Lugar and, worse yet, Dianne Feinstein, have anything to do with the war’s prosecution, we’re all doomed:

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