Day: December 6, 2009

NY Times Columnist Tom Friedman And Obama’s Afghan Policy

NY Times columnist Tom Friedman is a thoughtful, insightful man, who is often seen as very perceptive.

Therefore, what he says about President Obama’s Afghan War policy is something to reflect upon.

He compares what Obama is doing to an unemployed couple in the United States adopting a “special needs” child. Obviously, it is hard to make sense of such an action.

Friedman makes clear his belief that we have so much to do at home, and so little in resources to do it, and are creating an unsustainable national debt. Also, Afghanistan, the poorest non African country in the world, is so corrupt and has such an inept government that we cannot expect that country to be self sustaining, so how can we expect to leave that nation beginning in mid 2011?

Friedman wonders how we can build a decent government that Afghans will want to fight for. He sees doom ahead, with a heavy loss of American lives and an unsustainable increase in the national debt.

This wise man must be paid attention to, and it certainly sobers the author and many other thoughtful doubters of this war strategy of our President, who means well, but is likely leading us down the wrong path!

Barack Obama Wins Public Support For His Afghanistan Policy

While there are many Americans who are disappointed that President Obama has decided to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, including the author, it turns out his arguments for that escalation have won him public support, according to a CNN poll.

Obama said America’s safety and security are at stake, and 64 percent in the poll agree. Also, 63 percent agree that being involved in Afghanistan is morally justified.

This is a very different reaction than when George W. Bush escalated the war in Iraq via a “surge” in 2007, with that war always being seen as not justified morally and based on false premises.

The war in Afghanistan was poorly handled because of the war in Iraq, and therefore, it seems that Americans are willing to give President Obama more time to make the war a worthwhile intervention.

But with a deadline of starting to withdraw in July 2011, the support for the war might not continue long term. For now, though, Obama has gained time and broad support, but again with skepticism and sadness by many, including the author. We can only hope for the best, but expect the worst might come–a long, drawn out war with heavy casualties for many years!