President Barack Obama does not plan to accept any of the Afghanistan war options presented by his national security team, pushing instead for revisions to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government.It turns out that "forceful reservations" from the U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, may have had an impact on President Obama. Ambassador Ikenberry, a former military commander in the region, simply doesn't trust President Karzai. With this in mind, and because of his concerns over an open-ended commitment, President Obama appears ready to "reject all Aghanistan options" currently being prepared (all of which involve more troops and no withdrawal timelines).
If true, this is very good news. As I noted in the previous post, the reasons for leaving Afghanistan are many:
* We have no money and are breaking the bank.Throw in the fact that the people we're really after, al Qaeda, are in Pakistan and the reasons for staying in Afghanistan are weak at best.
* The Afghanis are not afraid of us.
* The Afghanis now see us as occupiers.
Apart from a lack of withdrawal timelines and mounting questions about the credibility of the Afghan government under President Hamid Karzai, President Obama could also be looking at these developments: Current military spending is now increasing unemployment and reducing economic growth in our nation at a faster rate than previously projected, while the Iraq war alone is projected to cost our nation $3-5 trillion.
At the end of the day - and apart from appeasing the War Crazies - it's clear that there are few reasons to up the ante in Afghanistan. We need to put some distance between the policies of a president who once thought reducing troop levels in Afghanistan was a good idea because he naively believed (as Senator John McCain famously put it) we could "muddle through" in Afghanistan.
Now if we can just get President Obama to alter his policy course and become more aggressive when it comes to Wall Street and the Public Option.