NYT - President Obama said on Friday that he plans to further bolster American forces in Afghanistan, increase aid to Pakistan, and for the first time set benchmarks for progress in fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban in both chaotic countries.
A Pakistani girl from the Bajur tribal region in line for bread. (Photo: AP)
Obama puts forth his Afghanistan Strategy: Part IOur war in Afghanistan began almost 3,000 days ago, on October 7, 2001. Our war in Afghanistan has lasted longer than World War I, World War II, the Civil War, the Korean War, the first Gulf War in Iraq and the second Gulf War in Iraq. If we are still fighting in Afghanistan a year from now, the war will have lasted longer than the American Revolution. Children who were born on the day the war began are now halfway through grammar school.
Is the Obama administration simply working with the hand it was dealt by George W. Bush, or are the same Bush administration mistakes about to be committed all over again? Norman Solomon, writing for Truthout on Tuesday, noted, "We desperately need a substantive national debate on US military intervention in Afghanistan and Pakistan. While the Obama administration says that the problems of the region cannot be solved by military means, the basic approach is reliance on heightened military means. And so, with chillingly familiar echoes, goes the perverse logic of escalating the war in Afghanistan. 'Strategic patience' - more and more war - will be necessary so that those who must die will not have died in vain."
However this all shakes out, one thing is certain: Both the United States and Afghanistan are likely going to be Enduring Freedom for a long time to come.
Obama's Strategy on Afghanistan-Pakistan Region: Part II