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Thread: Broder: Enough Afghan Debate

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    Broder: Enough Afghan Debate

    Broder is an opinion journalist, but when the Dean of Washington journalism opines that the president is DITHERING in Afghanistan, it's big news.

    A few salient points not doled out by the dean:

    1. Obama's indecision telegraphs to our allies, in NATO and Afghanistan, that his commitment to victory is reluctant, lukewarm, at best.

    2. The reason Obama is permanently morassed in the mountains on the moon is because of the emphasis he placed on this "right war" in his crusade-like campaign.

    3. He needed at the time to convince the electorate he was not your traditional anti-military, blame-America-first democrat.

    4. Obama's sudden discovery of the corruption encapsuling Karzai paints our president as a dupe.

    5. The dispute between principals in the adminstration is all too disturbingly public.

    6. Even Defense Secretary Gates expressed OPENLY---Obama can't afford to "sit on his hands."

    7. Broder is wrong on one all-important particular, however---not only must the president decide now, he must choose CORRECTLY.

    8. If Obama can't handle it, he shouldn't have run.

    The more President Obama examines our options in Afghanistan, the less he likes the choices he sees. But, as the old saying goes, to govern is to choose -- and he has stretched the internal debate to the breaking point.

    It is evident from the length of this deliberative process and from the flood of leaks that have emerged from Kabul and Washington that the perfect course of action does not exist. Given that reality, the urgent necessity is to make a decision -- whether or not it is right.

    The cost of indecision is growing every day. Americans, our allies who have contributed their own troops to the struggle against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and the Afghans and their government are waiting impatiently, while the challenge is getting worse.

    When Obama became commander in chief, his course of action seemed clear. He was bent on early withdrawal from Iraq and an increase in resources and emphasis on winning in Afghanistan -- the struggle he repeatedly called "a war of necessity."

    He sent 21,000 more troops to hold it together through the Afghan election and named two generals, Stanley McChrystal to run the war and the retired Karl Eikenberry to manage the politics and reconstruction from the ambassador's office in Kabul.

    McChrystal came up with a new plan of battle, emphasizing protection of population centers and requiring as many as 40,000 more troops. Eikenberry, we now know, balked, giving voice to the widespread fear that Hamid Karzai, the carry-over winner of the election that the ambassador helped arrange, was too weak and corrupt to govern the country effectively, even with an enlarged American force keeping order.

    Their disagreement was echoed and amplified throughout the Obama administration. The secretaries of defense and state came down on McChrystal's side; the vice president and many on the White House political staff with Eikenberry.

    The president, notwithstanding his earlier rhetoric and actions, has hesitated to resolve the issue. Obama needs to remember what Clark Clifford, one of Harry Truman's closest advisers, said: that the president "believed that even a wrong decision was better than no decision at all."

    While Obama deliberates, his party in Congress shows increasing reluctance to make an all-out commitment to the war effort. The chairmen of two key Senate committees, Foreign Relations and Armed Services, are arguing for retraining Afghan troops -- if they can even be found -- and turning over more of the burden of fighting to them.

    Meantime, events in Afghanistan support McChrystal's prediction that delay in expanding the U.S. troop commitment will almost certainly lead to gains for the Taliban and greater risk for U.S. and allied troops.

    In all this dithering, it's easy to forget a few fundamentals. Why are we in Afghanistan? Not because of its own claim on us but because the Taliban rulers welcomed the al-Qaeda plotters who hatched the destruction of Sept. 11, 2001. The Taliban also oppressed its own people, especially women, but we sent troops because Afghanistan was the hide-out for the terrorists who attacked our country.

    We knew that governing Afghanistan would never be easy. It had resisted outside forces through the ages, and its geography, tribal structure, absence of a democratic tradition and poverty all argued that once we went in, it would be hard to get out.

    But George W. Bush said -- and Obama seemed to agree -- that withdrawal was not an option.

    That imperative is reinforced by the presence of Pakistan, a shaky nuclear-armed power across a porous mountain border. If the Taliban comes back in Afghanistan, the al-Qaeda cells already in Pakistan will operate even more freely -- and nuclear weapons could fall into the most dangerous hands.

    Given all of this, I don't see how Obama can refuse to back up the commander he picked and the strategy he is recommending. It may not work if the country truly is ungovernable. But I think we have to gamble that security will bring political progress -- as it has done in Iraq.

    Obama did not believe that could happen there. But given what he inherited, and given what he has done so far, I think he has no choice but to play out that hand. If we can't afford to lose, then play to win.
    washingtonpost.com


    The Prof
    Last edited by The Prof; 11-16-09 at 02:05 PM.

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    Re: Broder: Enough Afghan Debate

    He keeps looking up at that Nobel Peace Prize, and it won't tell him what to do.

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    Re: Broder: Enough Afghan Debate

    The whole question is simply answered with the fact that he has shown that he is in way over his head. Having no executive management experience is a recipe for disaster and on the job training is going to lead to ruin.

    Everything he has done so far except for most of it pushing us toward Socialism/Maxism has failed to accomplish the stated objectives. But then that's what double speak is all about, language constructed to disguise or distort its actual meaning.

    There always comes a time when a fraud or amateur has to face a challenge they can't BS their way past. Obama may have come to that point.

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    Re: Broder: Enough Afghan Debate

    The floundering about wartime budget concerns is not good for troop morale or our image in the ME. Either we're there to win, or we're half-assed. Right now it appears half-assed. I say, **** or get off the pot; stay to win, or pull out now.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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    Re: Broder: Enough Afghan Debate

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    The floundering about wartime budget concerns is not good for troop morale or our image in the ME. Either we're there to win, or we're half-assed. Right now it appears half-assed. I say, **** or get off the pot; stay to win, or pull out now.
    Leaving Afghanistan would be a big mistake. However, keeping our fine troops there under the direction of this abortion of a president doesn't seem right either.

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    Re: Broder: Enough Afghan Debate

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    2. The reason Obama is permanently morassed in the mountains on the moon is because of the emphasis he placed on this "right war" in his crusade-like campaign.
    What was the reason Bush was "permanently morassed" in Afghanistan?

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    Re: Broder: Enough Afghan Debate

    who's bush?

    oh, yeah, i remember...

    LOL!

    there are at least 3 ways to look at this story, 2 of em wrong

    to weigh the OP as either in support of your view or negation of it is, well...

    who cares about what any ONE of us thinks

    to deliberate whether or not we should be in moon mountains, whether or not to increase our presence, etc, is similarly unproductive, as almost every person's (except the president's) opinions are pretty hard set

    the most mature method of measuring broder's piece, therefore, is THE POLITICS

    that is, when a man like broder says dithering...

    wow, that's really something

    it must really be bad
    Last edited by The Prof; 11-16-09 at 05:50 PM.

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    Re: Broder: Enough Afghan Debate

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    Obama's indecision telegraphs to our allies, in NATO and Afghanistan, that his commitment to victory is reluctant, lukewarm, at best.
    Define victory in Afghanistan.

    2. The reason Obama is permanently morassed in the mountains on the moon is because of the emphasis he placed on this "right war" in his crusade-like campaign.
    Don't confuse morassed with recoginzing that war is serious business.

    He needed at the time to convince the electorate he was not your traditional anti-military, blame-America-first democrat.
    Democrats have never been anti-military.

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    Re: Broder: Enough Afghan Debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Whip Comes Down View Post
    Define victory in Afghanistan.
    not my job, i'm not president

    Don't confuse morassed
    sure, afghanistan's a lark

    Democrats have never been anti-military.
    LOL!

    absolutely, that's why winning in afghanistan was the prime plank of candidate obama's foreign policy platform

    he really believed it

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    Re: Broder: Enough Afghan Debate

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    winning in afghanistan
    What is your idea of a win in Afghanistan?

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