Obama’s Afghan surge
To the dismay of many of his anti-war supporters, President Barack Obama is pushing to increase the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and boost our assistance to neighboring Pakistan.
We’re not eager to see more American men and women placed in harm’s way in far-away countries. But there is little doubt that our limited military presence in Afghanistan over the past few years has allowed the Taliban to regroup and work with al-Qaida to create more violence in the region. U.S. intelligence reports say they may also be planning new attacks on the United States.
Obama had already announced plans to send 17,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan prior to Friday’s announcement that he is ordering 4,000 additional U.S. military personnel there to help train Afghan forces. He is also seeking $1.5 billion in assistance to Pakistan. In that mountainous nation, U.S. drone bomber attacks have destroyed scores of terrorist strongholds and killed many terrorist leaders in recent months.
Afghanistan is not identical to Iraq. A military surge can’t be executed exactly like the successful surge in Iraq. The population is more tribal, its villages more isolated, its terrain far more rugged.
But many Afghans support our military presence there and want our help in rooting out terrorists.
It’s welcome news that Obama is not willing to sit back, allow the terrorist presence to fester in that region and hope that another 9/11 isn’t being planned.