Wow! I have to admit, I did not see this one coming.
Obama is full of surprises. This is a big one!
The Washington Post reports this morning that the President has no intention of lowering troop levels in Afghanistan anytime soon. Here is the article and a quote from same follows.
"Obama told congressional leaders that he is not contemplating reducing troop levels in the near term under any scenario, according to several participants, and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs reiterated Tuesday that withdrawing from Afghanistan is "not an option." A complete U.S. troop withdrawal is one of the straw men to which Kerry — and the president, in the meeting — referred.
The partisan split evident after the meeting, which 30 lawmakers attended, illustrated the political challenge Obama faces in Congress over this conflict. Opinion polls show that only a minority of Americans believe the battle is worth fighting, and much of that opposition is rooted in the Democratic Party."
Well, this is a very big deal politically relative to domestic relations with Democrats in Congress as well as relative to America’s standing in the world and Obama’s role as commander in chief.
He has essentially pulled a Bill Clinton here and defied his own party’s wishes on a major foreign policy issue, perhaps the major issue of his Presidency concerning foreign policy. Now what does this mean?
It essentially means that relative to foreign policy, Obama is now on his own. His party will not come to his rescue if this backfires. He has now isolated himself on a major issue from his political allies.
When a president is this far off the beam relative to not only his party’s direction on an issue but he is committing troops, or continuing to commit troops against the clear will of the majority of the population, then the Rubicon has just been crossed. Caeser better be right here. His political life depends on this being a correct decision.
Obama cannot go back now.
He has made his decision to stand against his party and the apparent will of the majority of the American people concerning American lives and American national resources (i.e. money and political capital and material resources) committed overseas.
Every death now in the armed forces will be his. Every defeat his own. Every setback will be flowing from his decision to get us further involved in a murky series of battles which at its heart is about Muslim theology, not American national defense.
No one with sound reason among the population wants this "war" to continue. We want our young people home. We have no dog in this fight and that has been apparent now for many months.
No American with any sense is willing to put American lives in danger over theological infighting among a collection of stone age peoples with a hard right view of Islam that makes Mohammed himself look like a moderate reformer.
This was a mistake.
CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)