POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Afghanistan … why stay?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 27, 2010

Generals McChrystal & Petraeus

From FIRST READ … Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Ali Weinberg … http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/06/24/4555507-first-thoughts-obamas-leadership-moment

  • President Obama’s firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal — and replacing him with Gen. David Petraeus — provided him with a leadership moment at a time he desperately needed it.
  • What’s more, the Petraeus move also potentially gives Obama a parachute if Afghanistan is indeed unwinnable.
  • GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said yesterday: “Dave Petraeus is our best hope. If things don’t change, nobody can pull it out in Afghanistan.”


But the real question is what are we doing in Afghanistan anyway? Since Bush/Cheney went searching for bin Laden but didn’t have the guts to pull the trigger at Bora Bora, we’ve been spinning wheels to no apparent purposes. Reform of the Afghan government is not within our capability. Nor is defeat of the rebels in the mountains.

The British failed. The Russians failed. And we will fail too.

And besides, Al Qaeda is apparently no longer there, having relocated to Pakistan and who knows where else. We need a strategy to understand and aggressively combat the terrorism that radical Islam has brought to our shores.

Keeping 100,000 soldiers at risk in Afghanistan is not likely to add to that strategy. Let’s get out.



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