During the Bush administration, the war in Afghanistan was always “the good war”, at least in comparison to the bad one right next door in Iraq. But not now, Andrew Exum, posting under at the liberal Center for a New American Security think tank’s blog under his nom de blog of “Abu Muqawama” writes:
As I walked out of the studio last night, though, Gwen Ifill turned to me and said, “Look, I understand you’re not some fire-breathing hawk, but you’re about the only person we can find in Washington to defend this war at the moment.”
Woah. The only person who will defend this war? If this blogger is the only person in the nation’s capital willing to defend the war, we have a big problem. I’m more used to hosting debates on Afghanistan than participating in them. I do not think it would surprise any reader of this blog, though, to note the speed with which the debate has shifted on the war in Afghanistan. What was, 12 months ago, “the good war” has now become, for paleoconservatives and progressives alike, a fool’s errand. And the Obama Administration has thus far shown little energy for defending a policy and strategic goals (.pdf) they themselves arrived at just five months ago. I thought that once the president had settled on a policy and strategic aims, the rest of the administration would then go about executing that policy. That’s the way it’s supposed to work, right? Yet the policy debate seems to continue within the White House, with the Office of the Vice President apparently pushing for a much more limited approach than what was articulated in March by the president himself and following a lengthy policy review. No wonder, then, the uniformed military is getting nervous about the administration’s support for their war. Either the White House has been too busy with health care, or they have failed to notice how quickly the debate has shifted under their feet (as with health care).
…the administration needs to go about defending and explaining their policy. Until then, it’s understandable why everyone from voters in Peoria to Mullah Omar in Afghanistan (?) are confused as to what, exactly, U.S. policy is at the moment.
Bolding in the above excerpt and our own post’s title are both via Cassandra of Villainous Company, who writes, “I find it extremely difficult to find a single word of this that I disagree with”, adding:
Not sure what it means when someone I usually disagree with comes to the same conclusion for what appear to be the same reasons.
Perhaps nothing. Still, it’s profoundly unsettling. I’m not sure I’m willing to lose my husband (or anyone else’s husband, or son, or wife, or daughter) in a fight no one is Washington believes is worth the candle.
In a related post, Herschel Smith of the Captain’s Journal blog summarizes a recent quote from America’s current National Security Adviser, Gen. Jim Jones (Ret.), on President Obama’s success in the War on Terror, or whatever even more politically correct neologistic phrase it’s being called this week:
Summarizing, the metrics are showing success and Obama is doing better than the previous administration. But there is no tally sheet, and the whole issue of killing and capturing more people misses the point. But more to the point, we are killing and capturing more people.
Got it? Neither do I. Your NSA is not a serious man.
Sadly, he’s working for the right administration, then.