Obama’s War – The Horizon of Failure

21 Nov

In today’s Washington Post Bob Woodwardwrote a very good piece on General McChrystal’s ultimatum, more troops or the eight year war, in his words, “will likely result in failure”.  Woodward’s article is just a basic breakdown of the growingly dubious situation in Afghanistan, but it lead me to think that Obama’s War might be a lost cause.

The real concern though, to me anyway, is that General McCrystal seems to be equating resources with result, as if more troops will some how overcome the staggering inter governmental corruption and lack of binding nationalism in the country called the graveyard of empires. Even if the Allied forces in Afghanistan waged a successful counter insurgency campaign you’d still lack a nation building foundation, ie something that would unite the country and rally them to rebuild their country.

The only thing that makes this worse for the President is the political realities that the unpopular war may have upon his domestic agenda. Republicans remain supportive of the President’s Afghanistan strategy, while Democrats seem to not know what to do on the subject. With Republicans having staked out an obstructive stance on the health care debate, the President will need 100% Democratic support to push legislation through this year. I would think it’s certainly a possibility that some dovish factions in the Democratic caucus would try to leverage health care support against concerns they have in Afghanistan. Just a speculation, but it could be a real problem for the President.

It would seem to me that the President is at the end of a poker game with not a whole lot of chips left, he can either go all in now with a decent hand or slowly bleed away his cash hoping for pocket aces. Either way, it’s not exactly the easiest spot to be in given the significant domestic problems Obama alread faces.

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2 Responses to “Obama’s War – The Horizon of Failure”

  1. Ben Hoffman September 21, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    Obama’s war? The war in Afghanistan would have been over years ago if waged competently. We’re going on ten years there and have accomplished very little, and have yet to get bin-Laden.

    • Mike Flynn September 21, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

      I don’t totally disagree with you, but it’s been termed Obama’s War after his campaign’s foreign policy focus on Afghanistan as the real front for the war on terror…CFR did a good article on it: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/64925/milton-bearden/obamas-war

      Yea 8 years is a long time to spend there, but what’s the President going to do after making Afghanistan the center of his foreign policy so far? This is my question anyway

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