Memo to Obama on Afghanistan


Scroll down for an excellent analysis of Obama's predicament by Center for American Progress.

I find most troubling President Obama's statement that the Bush administration didn't have the resources nor the
strategy in Afghanistan and that he will now finish the job.

I also find most troubling that his generals leaked their need for more troops to the press, so the hawks and the Republicans could start the Vietnam-style drumbeat for more troops and more war and in effect more occupation. That advice should have been presented in confidence to Obama and his military advisers.

I am more interested in hearing how many U.S. servicemen heading for Afghanistan will be on their second, third, or fourth tours? How many families in how many communities will be wrenched by this yet another war-by-surges policy? How many returning servicemen will be properly treated for their war wounds, physical and psychological? How in the world can Obama, taking on one of the world's toughest assignments, finish the job in a country and with a government that is the most corrupt in the world behind Somalia? How can he bypass the more sensible advice from his vice-president and plunge further into the Big Muddy and once again endanger the strong reform agenda of a Democratic president? How can he put more billions into this country that nobody, from the Mongols to Alexander to the Brits to the Russians, have been able to tame? How can he spend more blood and treasure in Afghanistan when faced with the terrible job and economic problems back home in the U.S.?

We started out chasing Al Queda and we are now fighting the Taliban in a vicious civil war seemingly without end. As we should have learned long ago, it's easy to put the troops in. It's hell to get them out.

That is the big challenge in Obama's speech: to show us the way out with as little collateral damage as possible. Here is one of the best analyses I have seen, from the Center American Progress.

Stmt on Obama's Upcoming Afghanistan Decision & Press Call Monday

Center for American Progress

Statement on Obama's Upcoming Decision on Afghanistan and Press Call Advisory

CAP Experts Brian Katulis, Lawrence Korb, and Caroline Wadhams are available for comment on this statement over the weekend, and will be hosting a press conference call on Monday, November 30th, at 12:30 p.m. More information on the call below.