Trying to bring some stability to an impoverished Afghanistan, torn apart by battling war lords & islamic extremists and “governed” by a corrupt oligarchy, is a near impossible task. Suffering extreme difficulties, hardships and frustrations, our troops face death on a daily basis and are caught in the crossfire of trying to win the hearts and minds of the people and trying to identify and kill the enemy before he kills them. Despite all this, our troops have performed admirably and deserve our unrestricted support and gratitude.
On the other hand, President Obama has failed to provide any decisive leadership in this war. The World Apology Tour projected weakness, lack of resolve and a sense of American decline as a world leader. Bowing to and coddling of muslims, acts of appeasement towards muslim nations, disrespecting and making unreasonable demands of our closest allies, refusal to identify islamic extremist terrorists as the enemy and naming a date for American withdrawal from Afghanistan has puzzled Americans, confused and disheartened our allies (including the Afghans), and emboldened the enemy.
The Obama Administration has been either unwilling or unable to make a clear case for, or explicitly define our mission in this war to the American people or the world. Strategies of gradual buildup of limited forces, failure to provide the “overwhelming force” needed for victory, defensive posture with few major offensive actions, and placing “winning the hearts and minds of the people” over victory by tying the hands of our military with onerous rules of engagement have failed dramatically. Lack of a constructive relationship between civilian and military leadership has hopelessly stalled progress, and there is no apparent resolution in site. Obama’s justification for continuing this war seems to be “because we are there”. Many of the factors involved in our current march to failure in Afghanistan, parallel those leading to the quagmire and eventual defeat of America in Vietnam.
For most Americans, the obvious imperative is that of securing Afghanistan from the occupation of an enemy we can face and deal with, being unabashed about calling out islamic extremist terrorists for what they are, and preventing them from abusing the country as a training and staging ground for international terrorism. However, Obama appears incapable of grasping such simple concepts and well-defined objectives, or of receiving and utilizing sound advice and guidance from the more experienced military leaders. If we are not willing to devote all our resources, with overwhelming force & winning strategies, with well-defined objectives, with the clear goal of victory, we should cut our losses and get out immediately. However, the United States should rather correct factors that are hurting us, and adopt winning strategies that will help us succeed.
The failed Obama leadership in the Afghan War has left the people no choice but to cast an extreme vote of “no confidence” for our Commander-In-Chief, who by his particular ineptness stands in the way of victory in Afghanistan. Obama has been tested in the fire and found wanting; he is clearly not up to the task. Many questions remain. Is there still time to turn things around, or are we too late and have no good option other than to withdraw immediately? Obama has a talent and proficiency in oratory that has been used more for evil than good; were he to use his gift to make a clear case for the war, define clear objectives, and eliminate his withdrawal date, there is a possibility that Americans and our allies might take faith in these actions and stand firm with us against the terrorists. If ever real change was needed, it is now, and Mr. Obama has a strong history of accomplishing change, although not always in the right direction. Will we make the necessary changes for winning, or will we descend into another Vietnam?