Quick Thoughts on Afghanistan

I’m a little late to the party on this, and there’s been plenty of smart, informed commentary on Obama’s newly unveiled Afghanistan strategy already, so I’ll make this short and sweet: I don’t feel like I can confidently pass firm judgment on Obama’s plan, for some of the reasons Ezra Klein cites, but I have some serious misgivings nonetheless.

Mostly that’s because I’m still a little fuzzy on what the end goal is. Sure, we all understand that, broadly speaking, it’s a stable, democratic Afghanistan. But I can’t for the life of me describe what that looks like, how we get there, or what 30,000 troops is going to do for us in that regard between now and 2011. The fact that Karzai still doesn’t even have a real cabinet doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

That said, I agree with everything Jamelle says here. This isn’t a “betrayal”–it’s more or less exactly what Obama promised over the course of the entire campaign. And in general, the more fractured the left gets over these so-called betrayals, the more freaked out I get over the possibility of the progressive movement civil warring itself back into the sort of political irrelevance we enjoyed during the early-to-mid Bush years. At some point I’ll get around to writing a longer post about that.

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One Response

  1. I agree with Jamelle. Obama said he’d do this and he’s following through. Not surprising. Liberals shouldn’t be frothing at the mouth. I mean really, do we want a politician who says what he’s going to do and does what he said he’d do or one that says whatever he needs to to be popular?

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