Thursday, October 08, 2009

John Howard: Losing in Afghanistan would embolden the enemy ...

" ... the end game is even less attractive if there is not a greater commitment. the greater the commitment the more likely it is the game will end sooner ... the great worry I have is that we will just drift along unwilling to pull out because that would be an overt admission of failure but unwilling to make a decisive additional commitment ... "

It's time for the President to lead - something he doesn't seem to know how to do - but, when you have troops in the field and the generals ask for reinforcements, you provide them or you go home. I cannot under stand Obama's hesitation in light of comments made in 2008:

“Our bill calls for the redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq so that we can focus more fully on the real war on terror, which is in Afghanistan.”
Said Nancy Pelosi on March 8 of 2007, soon after, both houses of Congress passed a bill for ending the war in Iraq, arguing that it was a distraction from the “real fight.” The opinion implicit in that resolution — that Iraq was a war of choice and, hence, the “wrong” war, while Afghanistan was a war of necessity, thus the “right” war — was echoed by the three leading Democrat candidates for the presidency at the time, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards.

Thus if its the "right war" what is the problem? I suspect that whatever decision is ultimately made will have implications for Australia.

Update: As Dr Geoffrey Garrett founding CEO of the United States Studies Centre and Professor of Political Science at the University of Sydney, rightly pointed out:
Amid all the heady global diplomacy at the United Nations and the G20 last week, one issue was conspicuous by its absence - Afghanistan. The reason is clear. Afghanistan is now Barack Obama's war, a war other world leaders want to distance themselves from, and a war over which Obama is paralysed ...
Read the rest here

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