Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Around the Horn: Reaction to President Obama's Escalation Speech

Here are some reactions from around the blogosphere to last night's Presidential address where President Obama announced that he would be escalating the war in Afghanistan:

Richard at Hyscience

"Stupid, immoral, worthless, self-absorbed non-strategy for his own political gratification." Yep, that about sums it all up perfectly.

And to think that America actually elected this Marxist and a Congress just like him. Is this the "change we had waited for"?

Jarrett Rush of the Dallas Morning News blog:

...he will be sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan on an accelerated timetable he will be doing it from West Point with, no doubt, troops as the backdrop. Does that bother anyone else, because it doesn't sit right with me.

The idea has felt weird since I heard about it, but I didn't want to knee-jerk and criticize the president just because he and I don't see eye to eye on much. But after considering it more, a policy decision like this needs to be announced from the White House with just the president. He's sending thousands of troops into harms way and using them as props on a stage is bad form.

Matt Armstrong at MountainRunner:

A successful strategy must empower the Afghan people against their oppressors. This means providing assistance directed “against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos” in order to “permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist” without which “there can be no political stability and no assured peace.” Success pivoted on whether the locals felt self-empowered and secure. Its value lay “not so much in its direct economic effects, which are difficult to calculate with any degree of accuracy, as in its psychological political by-products.” These statements, originally from 1947 by George C. Marshall and George Kennan, are timeless and just as applicable today to Afghanistan.

desmoinsdem at Bleeding Heartland:

Raise your hand if you believe that a surge in Afghanistan is going to stabilize that country and allow us to bring our troops home sooner. I doubt escalating our involvement will solve any problems in the region or make us safer. In particular, it won't address various security issues related to Pakistan.

After seeing how Obama kept a bunch of Republicans on at the Pentagon and then heeded their advice on Afghanistan, I have become more convinced that he would not have voted against the original resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq if he had been in the Senate at that time. He has not bucked the beltway conventional wisdom on any security issue.

Kevin Beck at Transmillennial:

War begets war. Always. Every time. No exceptions.

Escalating the war in hope of ending the war seems like a rational policy only if you believe violence can result in peace. Perhaps a greater presence can bring some stability, but when generating the habit energy of warfare only increases the possibility of more violence.

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