Obama wants to be a war President
Obama's failure to grasp the strategic importance of Iraq should disqualify him to be commander in chief. The strategic defeat we have imposed on al Qaeda and militant Islam in Iraq is one of the most important victories of the war and should not be squandered by a premature withdrawal.
Barack Obama has joined the party of war.
Since it became clear that he would be the Democratic presidential nominee, Obama has left behind his peacenik rhetoric and seems eager to inform anyone who will listen that as president he would escalate U.S. military intervention -- in Afghanistan.
Last week, immediately after completing his first-ever trip to Afghanistan, Obama made a pronouncement from that most sacred of liberal precincts, the op-ed page of The New York Times.
"As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan," he wrote. "We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there."
In other words, Obama would order a surge -- in Afghanistan.
What was most revealing about Obama's statement on "Meet the Press," however, was Obama's implicit concession that the United States is in a multi-front war. He did say, after all, that "Afghanistan is the central front on terror." He did not say it was the only front.
So, now that we know Obama will order a surge in Afghanistan, Americans need to ponder what tactics he is likely to employ on other fronts and how likely it is that the sum of these tactics will add up to a strategic U.S. victory.What is a U.S. victory? Simply this: Stopping Islamic terrorists from ever again perpetrating mass murder on U.S. soil.
For Obama and the Democrats, Bush water-boarded too many Khalid Sheikh Mohammads, imprisoned too many in Guantanamo, made too many arguments against granting terrorists access to federal courts, authorized too many warrantless international wiretaps, made too much use of the PATRIOT Act and put too many troops in Iraq.
To prove they are not appeasers, they want more troops in Afghanistan.
But leaving aside Afghanistan, where Obama and the Democrats are now committed to becoming the war party, an all-Democratic government led by Obama can be counted on to use fewer aggressive tactics against Islamic terrorists than President Bush did.
Obama also seems oblivious to the complexities of the current war in Afghanistan and its Pakistani origins. He may blunder into a war with our ally in Pakistan if his rhetoric can be believed. Pakistan is clearly an imperfect ally as the post below notes. But it can be persuaded to do more effective fighting. It is certainly in Pakistan's interest to do so, not just to please the US , but to rid itself of people who want to impose militant Islam on Pakistan.
I fear that Obama's posture on Afghanistan is in fact just posturing to avoid looking weak. The Democrats would really rather fight lawfare than warfare. They would really like to return to the failed policy of the Clinton administration, but they don't think they can win an election with that policy so they talk tough about Afghanistan.