Huh? Dude, Obama is turning this world completely upside down.
The DB, for those who don’t know, is kind of a consortium of wishy-washy small-‘c’ conservatives comprised of pseudo-intellectuals, Frum-esque charlatans and, of course, the Queen of Young and Restless Conservatism, that stalwart of the middle and unashamedly self-congratulatory Daughter of Maverick…the Blonde Muppet herself, Meghan McCain.
(Incidentally, Meggie Mac rests much of her alleged conservative cred on the fact that she was on stage as an embryo in 1980 at Ronald Reagan’s nomination. For what it’s worth, and that would be nothing, I was there too, as a 3-year old with my Mom and Dad, who was an alternate delegate. Read some more books Meg. I still think you could be a real asset once you get a handle on the truth)
That said, Reihan Salam seems to be the most cogent of the bunch and his article linked above is actually a very good one outlining the quandry into which Obama has put himself with his idiotic, counterproductive non-strategy-strategy for future U.S. military operations in Afghanistan:
And so the president is caught in an extremely awkward position. Abandoned by the Democrats, he is relying on the support of a shrinking centrist foreign-policy establishment that, to put it bluntly, has zero political muscle. The conservatives who back the troop surge don’t think the president is going far enough, and most expect that his effort to craft a compromise counterinsurgency will fail. Among grassroots conservatives, there is a growing sense that the U.S. military is too hamstrung by concern about civilian casualties and political correctness to wage an effective military campaign under Obama, which implies that there is little point in offering him political support.
That’s exactly right. Obama isn’t even trying to “win” this war. I said before and I’m sticking to it, this move is an entirely political one, calculated to achieve maximum gain on the back end at the expense of our troops, the mission and short-term liberal disgust on the front. Eighteen months (or so) from now, many more soldiers will have died, the domestic Afghan security forces will be unprepared and largely compromised, Al-Queda and/or the Taliban will have regrouped and manned up for their own surge but Obama will be pulling the troops out just around the time he starts gearing up for his run at a second term.
One more quick article today on this from George Will:
Obama’s surge will bring to 51,000 his Afghanistan escalation since March. Supposedly this will buy time for Afghan forces to become adequate. But it is not intended to buy much time: Although the war is in its 98th month, Obama’s “Mission Accomplished” banner will be unfurled 19 months from now — when Afghanistan’s security forces supposedly will be self-sufficient. He must know this will not happen.
On Tuesday the Taliban heard a distant U.S. trumpet sounding withdrawal beginning in 19 months. Also hearing it were Afghans who must decide whether to bet their lives on the Americans, who will begin striking their tents in July 2011, or on the Taliban, who live there.
Many Democrats, who think the $787 billion stimulus was too small and want another one (but by another name), are flinching from the $30 billion one-year cost of the Afghan surge. Considering that the GM and GMAC bailouts ($63 billion) are five times bigger than Afghanistan’s GDP ($12 billion), Democrats seem to be selective worriers about deficits. Of course, their real worry is how to wriggle out of their endorsement of the “necessary” war in Afghanistan, which was a merely tactical endorsement intended to disparage the “war of choice” in Iraq.
The president’s party will not support his new policy, his budget will not accommodate it, our overstretched and worn down military will be hard-pressed to execute it, and Americans’ patience will not be commensurate with Afghanistan’s limitless demands for it. This will not end well.
A case can be made for a larger and more protracted surge. A better case can be made for a radically reduced investment of resources and prestige in that forlorn country. Obama has not made a convincing case for his tentative surgelet.
George Orwell said the quickest way to end a war is to lose it. But Obama’s halfhearted embrace of a half-baked nonstrategy — briefly feinting toward the Taliban (or al-Qaida or a “syndicate of terror”) while lunging for the exit ramp — makes a protracted loss probable.
Will is right, this will not end well. I don’t always agree with Will and he makes a point in the article of lying again about supposed “non-existent” WMD in Iraq to square his circle, but this time he’s right on the money. Old-Guard establishment conservative sellout or not, this will not end well.