Michael's Dispatches

Our Must-Win War

20 March 2009

By now, President Barack Obama must be acutely aware of the spiraling AfPak situation.  Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman have penned a very smart piece about the tough road ahead.  There is a subtly to this piece insofar is it might indicate the Obama Administration is quietly bucking what is likely a very expensive and exhausting plan from the Pentagon.  Active duty Generals cannot make such public declarations as seen coming from Senators McCain and Lieberman, but military leadership can get its message out in other ways.

At least part of the problem is obvious: we have half-stepped on AfPak for more than half-a-decade.  At the current rate, we likely will see endless war until we wash our hands and come home.  Anything short of severe effort is likely destined to fail.  Therefore, this writer will be watching closely, and if President Obama is ready to take the hard decisions that will be required to win, then I am one man who will support him from the ground in Afghanistan.  But if it looks like he is blinking at this moment of truth, or not heeding the advice of his Generals, this writer would sadly recommend that we cut losses and abandon Afghanistan.  This is it.  The first moment of truth and war for President Obama.  The stakes are high.

Our Must-Win War

The 'Minimalist' Path Is Wrong for Afghanistan

By John McCain and Joseph Lieberman
Thursday, March 19, 2009; Page A15

Later this month, the Obama administration will unveil a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan. This comes as most important indicators in Afghanistan are pointing in the wrong direction. President Obama's decision last month to deploy an additional 17,000 U.S. troops was an important step in the right direction, but a comprehensive overhaul of our war plan is needed, and quickly.


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