Obama Got It Right in Afghanistan/Pakistan
by: Jon Soltz
Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 11:19:46 AM EDT
For those of us who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, it was extremely important that the new President get the situation in Afghanistan right. Not just for America's security, but for those troops still in Afghanistan, and those heading to Afghanistan to put their lives on the line in the war. With today's announcement, President Obama has shown that he "gets it."
There's a lot to like about the plan. But, there are three key things I'm particularly focused on, that represent a stark departure from the previous administration. They show that this President not only has reasonable goals in the region, but a good idea of what it will take to get there.
Point One: The Military Can't Do It All
The President recognizes that the war against terrorists requires much more than just throwing troops at the problem. That alone will go a long way towards setting policies that make America safer, and taking the burden off our military.
The President said today, "To advance security, opportunity, and justice - not just in Kabul, but from the bottom up in the provinces - we need agricultural specialists and educators; engineers and lawyers.... These investments relieve the burden on our troops. They contribute directly to security. They make the American people safer. And they save us an enormous amount of money in the long run - because it is far cheaper to train a policeman to secure their village or to help a farmer seed a crop, than it is to send our troops to fight tour after tour of duty with no transition to Afghan responsibility."
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