The president announced last night he’s going to begin withdrawing some and eventually all of those 33,000 troops he sent to Afghanistan last year. The surge has worked, but the job isn’t done. The speech was as much political as military, maybe more so. His leftist base has been clamoring for withdrawal so they can spend money we don’t have on more stimulus programs. They’ve been joined by some Republicans who doubt the war is succeeding and worry it costs too much in money and lives.
What do the generals think about this? We don’t know because they are understandably saluting and not saying anything. But if they disagree, their opinions will eventually come out.
We can’t afford to allow Afghanistan to again become a terrorist base. The question is: can 100,000 troops stay forever, or will predator drones and other high tech warfare do the job? It’s Obama’s war now. If his strategy fails, he’ll get the blame. And if it succeeds? The troops should get the credit.
This article published in June 23, 2011. Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.