This deployment will begin in May, and will increase U.S. forces there by fifty percent, in addition to the 32,000 NATO troops already present. The White House has acknowledged that the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, and American homeland security is threatened by al-Qaeda as a result of this. Taliban attacks, as well as U.S. and NATO casualties, in the Afghan/Pakistani area are higher than they have been since our war on terror began in earnest. A request for 30,000 more troops had been made previously, by the U.S commander in Afghanistan, and former President Bush had authorized them, but only 6,000 arrived this past month.
I personally am gratified to see President Obama taking this action, and I would say I’m greatly reassured as to his more aggressive approach towards combating terrorist activities, except that Obama has also stated that he wants to “limit U.S. objectives” in Afghanistan, according to the Washington Post. What does this mean? I would think, as per the title of this post, the president wants to do exactly that. Meaning, Afghanistan can’t become another Iraq, and let’s make sure it doesn’t. Let’s be careful how involved we get, and how we get involved.
Though Obama promised to withdraw our troops from Iraq in a clear, methodical manner, he has yet to begin that process, nor has he received any specific withdrawal plans from military planners. This signifies, to me, that perhaps a more cautious tone is prevailing here. Perhaps campaign promises were a bit too brash…? We are talking the security of not only the United States but the world, really; human lives, bloodshed and human suffering are the issues here. I would not want to be the leader with that responsibility on my shoulders. I cannot even imagine that kind of weight. Even so, I am glad to see that President Obama may be applying the brakes slightly, regarding U.S. troop evacuations, and yet I would also think it wisdom to consider our options in a regretfully necessary Afghan occupation.
Unbelievably, the response of the Afghan citizenry sounds just like the latter years attitude of the Iraqi public. They want us out. Or at least, less. A recent poll indicates only 18% are happy about an increase in U.S. troops there. Rising civilian casualties are, understandably, a source of resentment, and the coalition forces are gradually losing support for this reason, according to yesterday’s U.N. report.
This sound familiar to anybody?
The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll indicates Americans are divided roughly 2 to 1 as regards increasing our military presence in Afghanistan, the scales tilting against it. About one-third of us support troops increase; the rest, either let it be, or send some home…
Again, familiar ring…..?
AND YET…”…most Americans consider winning in Afghanistan essential to victory in the broader fight against terrorism…” ( Washington Post )
(Source: Washington Post)