Obama’s War

A grim milestone was reached last month. US casualties in Afghanistan during the Obama administration have now surpassed those of the Bush era. During the eight years of the Bush administration, total US fatalities in Afghanistan numbered 578. As of September 22 fatalities during the Obama administration were reported at 646.

Afghanistan is now truly Obama’s War. I write this with regret and sadness, not anger. I admire Obama greatly and support much of his progressive agenda. On this issue, though, I believe the president has been ill advised and placed too much faith in military solutions.

Many independent experts and former officials now agree the war is unwinnable and that less militarized strategies are necessary. This is the conclusion of the important report, A New Way Forward, by the Afghanistan Study Group, a prestigious collection of more than 50 prominent US security experts and former government officials. The report urges a greater emphasis on political solutions. The United States should lower its military footprint, support power-sharing within Afghanistan and sponsor regional diplomatic efforts to guarantee Afghanistan’s neutrality. The Study Group urges President Obama to stick to his commitment to begin a process of gradual military disengagement next July.

Meanwhile pray and work for peace, and urge the president to hold firm on the commitment to begin military withdrawals next July, sooner if possible.

2 thoughts on “Obama’s War

  1. You saw Michael Steele get in trouble for labeling this “Obama’s war”. Of course, he was coming at it from right opportunism. Truth is it is Obama’s war, troubling for some on the left. The documentary “Restrepo” showed us some of the horror of what is taking place on the ground there, our troops fighting an unknown and hidden insurgency. Americans can’t stomach long drawn out ground wars especially guerilla war, Vietnam taught us this. The Powell doctrine would seem plausible although the U.S has never tried it. We should stick to our goals knowing full well every commander in chief regardless of party affiliation must maintain the U.S power balance in the world through military domination. Jimmy Carter’s 1980 state of the union address is a prime example. A people’s movement within our borders linked to solidarity movements throughtout the world is a must and necessity. JH

  2. Good points, Jonathan. I am certainly not coming at this to be critical of Obama, whom I admire and support, but to argue for a reponsible exit plan.

    Check out the 60 Minutes broadcast this past Sunday, which featured a segment from reporter Lora Logan, who did the feature on the Appeal for Redress a few years ago. Sunday’s segment reported on a US army unit stationed on the Af/Pak border getting hit every day by insurgents, trying hard to hold on, but able to control less than 10 per cent of surrounding territory.

    This is not a war that can be won militarily.

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