GOP congress could buy time for victory in Afghanistan
When he ordered 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan last December, President Obama stressed that they would not stay forever. “After 18 months,” he said, “our troops will begin to come home.”Obama's problem here is with the left wing of his own party. This is an issue where he will benefit from a Republican victory this fall, because with the GOP in charge there will be less pressure for a retreat.
Last weekend, though, he scorned the “obsession around this whole issue of when do we leave,” saying he was focused on making sure the troops were successful. The July 2011 deadline he set was intended to “begin a process of transition,” he said, but “that doesn’t mean we suddenly turn off the lights and let the door close behind us.”
As he hands command of the war to Gen. David H. Petraeus, Mr. Obama is trying to define what his timeline means — but not too much. Even as developments in Afghanistan have made meeting the deadline all the more daunting, Mr. Obama has sent multiple signals to multiple audiences, sticking by his commitment to begin pulling out while insisting that it does not mean simply walking away.
The 18 month deadline was always a mistake, but it was one forced on Obama by antiwar pukes like Pelosi. The deadline gives hope to the enemy that if they just hold out or increase resistance we will walk away. You win wars by making your enemy believe his cause if hopeless, not by giving him hope. Instead what we are getting from liberal Democrats is a pitch that our cause is hopeless. That is no way to win a war, but it is a good way to lose one if that is your objective.