Kagan and Foster reach the only sensible conclusion on Obama’s drawdown.

There can be little doubt that President Obama’s decision to claw back the surge forces by the end of next summer had a political dimension — the only question is to what extent did those political exigencies override military considerations? Robert Kagan thinks the answer is quite a bit:

via Kagan on Obama’s Afghanistan Drawdown – By Daniel Foster – The Corner – National Review Online.

9 thoughts on “Kagan and Foster reach the only sensible conclusion on Obama’s drawdown.”

  1. The article states that the entire military leadership believes the president’s decision is a mistake… and I agree. The lack of acumen in our president continues to amaze me. Is he so misguided that he equates the killing of Osama with some level of success that calls for this retreat? That’s basically what he communicated in his speech. Does he really believe that making known to the entire world what our plans for troop strength will be will not effect subsequent strategies of those who oppose the U.S.A.? This is not the first time he’s done this. Why does he keep doing this?!

    This seems very dangerous, but I’m not sure the average joe-civilians, are hearing facts and understand the reality in order to see the president’s decision as disastrous. I’m sorry to say this, but it seems that short attention spans and personal feelings trump successful efforts to share legitimate facts and realities. Sometimes I sense the “what’s in it for me” is more important to them than “what’s best for the safety and sovereignty in our nation now and beyond.” With some experience debating and discussing issues with folks, I’m concerned. God help us.

    1. I think what irritates me isn’t that the drawdown numbers are politically based. That comes with the territory of civilian control of the military.

      No, what irks me is that the politics of the decision are stupid. Yes, a majority opinion in the US wants to draw down. But only for a very small slice of the electorate is that THE issue they’ll base their vote on. So Obama is catering to the anti-war left.

      The problem is, he’s never going to be able to tack left enough for them. The end of the drawdown will still see 70,000 US troops in Afghanistan. To the anti-war left, that’s just as bad as 100,000.

      But he can’t propose a total withdrawal to satisfy the anti-war left without destroying any credibility on national security not just for him, but the entire Democrat party.

      But settling on the pre-surge troop level for political reasons shows weakness, not decisiveness to the political middle in the US. And it places a greater burden on those troops that do remain in theater, meaning more casualties, for fewer gains.

      It’s the worst solution both politically, and militarily.

  2. The two of you have pretty said everything that needs to be said on the matter.

  3. i would add another observation, which is, when we are in negotiations with the Taliban (an idea with questionable merit), how in the world do we expect those negotiations to be successful when we just told them, if you are willing to wait two years, none of this matters anyway?

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