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More Troops to Afghanistan

December 2, 2009

I understood why we went into Afghanistan following the attacks of September 11, 2001.  Even after carefully listening to President Obama’s speech last night, I confess that I am unsure why we’re still there.

We will be leaving in the summer of 2011, but this doesn’t seem to be contingent on anything resembling victory as we would traditionally recognize it.  In this sense, it seems like some kind of postmodern military effort; we’re free to construct our own narratives regarding the outcome.  Certainly, it won’t end with concession, surrender, or armistice.

If you have any thoughts about the plan Barack Obama outlined in last night’s speech at West Point, leave a comment.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Korbie permalink
    December 2, 2009 8:57 pm

    The military need to learn about timeboxing. Set a real goal and get things done. I highly doubt we’ll pull out in 2011 when we keep extending the war.

  2. permalink
    December 3, 2009 9:57 am

    I think we ought to leave the military strategy to the military. These people are not only professionals, but the best of the best (in the world). When they make decisions (even hard ones) I’m confident that it’s with the best interest of our country in mind. Give them the benefit of the doubt. At least the Obama Administration wants to starting getting our troops out and isn’t leading a blind crusade like Georgie was.

    • Barry permalink*
      December 3, 2009 10:57 am

      Well, it seems like Obama didn’t give McChrystal all he wanted. I don’t know. It’s way over my head.

  3. Ian permalink*
    December 3, 2009 1:43 pm

    You’re right, Barry. It is post-modern. Weird for weird’s sake.

  4. David permalink
    December 3, 2009 2:18 pm

    That is a Simpsons ripp-off, Ian. Well done.

  5. Aaron permalink
    December 3, 2009 7:28 pm

    I don’t know that I buy the whole “this is our real enemy” argument. It all seems too ephemeral. Who can convince me that this war is good for America and the rest of the world?… cuz Obama didn’t the other night – and he’s usually really good at it.

  6. Barry permalink*
    December 3, 2009 7:49 pm

    Yeah, Aaron. I just don’t get it.

  7. Dan permalink
    December 4, 2009 9:03 pm

    Dj’s point assumes two things that I don’t think are necessarily true.

    1) it was a purely military strategic decision. I think it’s very likely that politics played an equal role. Obamas promise to focus the fight on afghan and withering public support for the war likely played a large role. That isn’t to say that those factors should t be considered, but I think it removes the question from an arena where the decision makers have a monoply on information and knowledge and thus deserve deference.

    2) it assumes they have the “correct” goal. Mccrystal et al may be more qualified to determine the beat method to accomplish X, but who says the goal shouldn’t be Y? He’ll I don’t even think we have a clear X.

  8. Barry permalink*
    December 4, 2009 9:06 pm

    I heard today on NPR that Obama committed the 30,000 troops after he secured from NATO members pledges to send about 10,000 more of their own troops. In that sense, Obama actually got the general what he wanted. That said, I am still very confused.

  9. Dan permalink
    December 4, 2009 9:29 pm

    That being said, I don’t have a clue what to think.

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