Shorter Obama on Afghanistan: Go Hard But Then Go Home
I missed the 60 Minutes interview with President Obama yesterday, but The New York Times gives me the highlight reel. On Afghanistan:
“There’s got to be an exit strategy,” Mr. Obama said in a wide-ranging interview shown Sunday on “60 Minutes” on CBS. “There’s got to be a sense that this is not perpetual drift.”
Let’s preempt the inevitable fears that this means Obama will cut and run from Afghanistan.
Many years ago, in a saner era, crafting a war with an exit strategy would be greeted as a statement of pure prudence in statecraft. And we’ll see how Obama fleshes out what an exit strategy requires. But what’s emerged from the Obama administration’s strategy review has indicated that the president favors not just a plus-up in U.S. troops, but an expansion of Afghan security forces, and development and governance assistance for the Afghans as well. In other words, a counterinsurgency strategy to achieve a counterterrorism objective. What would be wrong with offering a way out of a war that’s lasted for seven and a half years already, on top of that?