The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Truth.Posted: December 1, 2009
What was good about Obama’s Afghanistan speech:
He made the case that we need to be there to wipe out (or at least cripple) Al Qaeda. That’s where the attack against us on 9/11 came from. That’s where future attacks on our homeland are going to come from.
What was bad about Obama’s Afghanistan speech:
He emphasized how little we can afford, financially, a protracted engagement there. He said our economic strength depends on our being there only a short time. This is probably true. And we all want the mission to be accomplished sooner rather than later. But what if that doesn’t happen? He’s telling Al Qaeda that all it has to do is wait us out, because we hold a weak hand. That didn’t sound smart to me.
Quick success there might in fact be the only kind of success we can afford; besides which, the sooner we’re out of there, the sooner our armed forces won’t have to die there, which is a day we all pray for. But should Obama have laid the limitedness of our resources, the limitedness of the commitment we can afford — our acute awareness that our economy is in intensive care — so plainly on the table for the enemy to see? Obama better be sure we can do this in eighteen months, because if we can’t, eighteen months doesn’t seem like a long time for Al Qaeda to sit and wait for us to exhaust our effort.