Monday, November 30, 2009

A Turning Point for A New President

President Obama will be at West Point tomorrow night. He's expected to announced the deployment of an additional thirty thousand soldiers to Afghanistan.

I'll be there. It's history and sad as it is, I want to witness it.

I subscribe to a very interesting report called Stratfor. It's a subscription-supported intelligence gathering report. It offers in depth analysis of global issues, particularly the developments in politics and the military. It's fascinating reading.

There are already 68 thousand Americans in Afghanistan, fighting alongside 45 thousand soldiers from NATO and other countries. It's the biggest foreign presence since the Russians got whupped there.

Afghanistan is known as the graveyard of empires...and it's very likely we'll fare no better there than the Russians, the British and even Genghis Khan.

We've enraged the Taliban by our complicity in mass murders. We missed bin Laden when we nearly had him; we decided we wanted Iraq's oil.

Stratfor's analysis is that we cannot get enough soldiers (I refuse to call them 'troops' - it's a way of depersonalizing them. They are people.) across the massive region to do any good, nor can we get them in and out quickly enough to satisfy an American public weary of war. It concludes that what will matter is where the president decides to deploy our soldiers.

I think Afghanistan may prove to be the issue that sinks this president. He came into office with a huge tide of goodwill. Despite an economy more challenging than any in most of our memories, many of his supporters haven't given up on him. His efforts to get health care reform finally done deserves credit. But if he sinks our already-exhausted military into yet another unwinnable war, the Democrats can kiss the White House goodbye.

He is the president. He has a choice. I'll be there to see what it is. And I'm truly hoping he'll surprise me.

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