Messages to the Enemy
It looks like the Obama administration is casting about for some excuse to do the wrong thing in Afghanistan:
Before President Obama commits additional troops to Afghanistan, the United States needs assurances that Afghan leaders preside over a stable government that is seen as legitimate in the eyes of its citizens, top Democratic officials said in TV appearances on Sunday.
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, said the overriding question facing the Obama administration is whether it has “a credible Afghan partner for this process that can provide the security and the type of services that the Afghan people need.”
Stabilizing the region is not a prerequisite for our mission in Afghanistan; it is the mission. Our own military decisions should not be contingent upon the emergence of a strong and uncontested government, there; it should be seen as a temporary base on which such a thing can be built. The United States has now signaled to its enemies that increasing efforts toward destabilization — or even just giving the impression thereof — will be rewarded.
And should this be evidence of the administration’s intention to extricate from a difficult problem, no amount of Obamanian rhetoric is going to change the conclusion that actions will have proven: That the American president is not willing to make the difficult calls that are necessary during war. The fact that this particular rhetoric apparently entered the public sphere without the knowledge of key military and security strategists suggests that President Barack has little concept of the lives that such slips can cost.