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."

Read The Full Story: VetVoice.com


  1. Dear Sikander Hayat:

    Thank you very much for your comment at my blogspot.
    It led me to yours, which i have been enjoying and learning from very much today--
    i wanted to ask you--with your permission, would it be possible republish on my blog the beautiful piece you wrote re Pakistani Poetry as the Soul of Pakistan?
    Even though it is from June of 2008 i think that the events in it and the persons are both very powerful historically in that moment and also for any time regarding poetry and its importance in the world in other cultures which is little known to american readers primarily--
    the events with the lawyers were in the news a lot in the us--
    (imagine american lawyers trying to do any such thing--!! to have the courage for it--)
    but nothing about the poetry!
    thank you again very much for writing your comment, it is very much appreciated-
    all my very best to you-

  2. Yes, you can republish it.

    Thanks for your comments. Much appreciated.

  3. Obama hasn't seemed to be trying anything different - he's doubling down on Bush's mistakes. More drone bombings, more aid to Pakistan's military-industrial complex (supposedly for education, but so was Bush's $10 billion he gave Pakistan - and we know where that went).

    I don't see how you can win a counter-insurgency by dropping bombs from unmanned aircraft on villages. If there was one decision that Obama made that will doom the mission in Afghan/Pakistan, it was to continue the bombings.

    As for the troops - I'd like to see the Afghan army increased by at least four-fold. No one wants foreign troops roaming their country - the more Afghan troops we train the more jobs and the less foreign presence.


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