[Guest post by DRJ]
Candidate Obama said Afghanistan is “the war that has to be won” and, as he visited Afghanistan during the Presidential campaign, he spoke of the need to increase American troops in order to finish the job:
“Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said today that U.S. combat troops should be shifted to Afghanistan from Iraq.
“This has to be our central focus, the central front of our battle against terrorism,” Obama said on CBS’s Face the Nation program. “One of the biggest mistakes we’ve made strategically after 9/11 was to fail to finish the job here, focus our attention here.”
Obama’s position on Afghanistan was notable because he not only opposed the Iraq War from the start, he also opposed the surge that was ultimately successful. Thus, it will be a special kind of irony if President Obama denies General McChrystal’s request for more troops for Afghanistan.
Barack Obama didn’t run on a firm ideological platform or years of government experience and leadership. Instead, he ran as the smarter, wiser candidate with The Judgment to Lead, so it matters if his initial judgments are wrong. Candidate Obama said America needs to win in Afghanistan and he implied the way to win is by sending more troops. As long as President Obama continues to procrastinate or refuses to send more troops as requested by General McChrystal, it not only brings Obama’s initial judgment into question, he risks losing the war.
I want President Obama to succeed in Afghanistan and in the fight against terrorism. I hope his decisions result in a U.S. military victory, freedom for the Afghan people, and an Afghanistan that is an American ally in the region. However, at this point, I don’t trust his judgment.