Nation Building

Barack Obama And Afghanistan Withdrawal: Promising, But Not Enough!

President Obama gave a 13 minute speech last evening, outlining his strategy in Afghanistan.

Pointing out that Al Qaeda had been weakened with Osama Bin Laden’s death, plus the death of other terrorists by air strikes and drones, Obama announced the withdrawal of 10,000 soldiers by the end of 2011, and another 23,000 by September of 2012.

This would mean the removal of the “surge” troops put in after his speech in December 2009.

This is an important development, but it would leave 68,000 troops in Afghanistan to the target date of sometime in 2014, but Obama did not say that all troops would be removed even then.

The Afghanistan War is costing $10 billion a month at a time when we are in such dire economic straits, and therefore, although he called for a focus on domestic needs and infrastructure and nation building at home, how are we supposed to do this if there is no end to the involvement in Afghanistan?

The military, led by David Petraeus, new head of the CIA; and Mike Mullen, retiring head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Leon Panetta, new head of the Defense Department; and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, wanted a slower approach, as did John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

At the same time, the left is disgusted with the slow pace of the Afghanistan withdrawal, and even some Republicans seem disgusted with the feeling that there is no end to war involvement, and the reality that it is bleeding this nation dry!

So Obama is not pleasing the left or the right, is instead following the advice of Vice President Joe Biden, and is seemingly in the middle on an issue that a majority of Americans feel should not be a priority for the future, particularly with the domestic crises we now face, an imminent threat!