Obama Makes the Right Call to Tough it Out in Afghanistan
James Jay Carafano – Fox News
Signaling a limited-time interest in fighting an enemy rarely ends well. The Taliban adopted the logical and predictable strategy of simply waiting out Mr. Obama. Also predictably, the half-measure surge and overly ambitious transfer of responsibility to the Afghan military resulted in unnecessarily heavy casualties for Afghan security forces, a persistent Taliban, and a shaky security situation.
Nevertheless, Afghanistan is far from a total failure. Indeed, compared to the president’s other foreign policy dalliances—from the Russian “reset” to Libya to Syria to Iraq to Ukraine— it ranks as his best achievement yet….
It makes complete sense for Mr. Obama to tough it out in Afghanistan, but don’t expect the change in plans to make things better for the Afghans or the larger security picture.
Kunduz and the Many Failures in Afghanistan
Ershad Ahmadi – New York Times
This is not what our country was supposed to look like a year after the formation of the national unity government, an agreement the United States helped broker. Afghanistan is on a regressive path. The political arrangement between President Ashraf Ghani and his chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, has metamorphosed into the opposite of everything it was designed to deliver….
Continued and enhanced economic and political support to Afghanistan is crucial for the viability of the government. Afghanistan is faring better than Syria and Iraq in many ways, but it appears to have exhausted its stay on top of the American and international community agendas. If Afghanistan is to have the chance to become a success story because of the United States and NATO intervention, it cannot be abandoned halfway.
Watch President Obama’s statement on Afghanistan:
Keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan
Marco Rubio – USA Today
Islamic State has been increasingly making inroads in Afghanistan, even challenging the Taliban for influence in some areas. And any jihadist group with safe haven in Afghanistan could destabilize nuclear-armed Pakistan, train for attacks against India and prepare attacks on the U.S. homeland….
But the Afghans are not yet ready to stand on their own. Withdrawing all troops by the end of 2016 would be to repeat the mistake of Iraq where the pullout in 2011 made possible the rise of the Islamic State.
President Obama should rethink his ill-considered withdrawal plans and instead commit to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan until he leaves office. That will allow the next president the chance to set a responsible long-term policy.