December 2, 2009
President Obama last night announced his decision to send about 34,000 troops to Afghanistan. His top general there asked for 40,000 and the difference will be made up with troops from NATO countries, if they comply.
We'll see if the president's decision for markers for the Afghan government works. It did in Iraq, sort of. The markers were sometimes moving targets as the Iraqi government had its own issues of corruption, religious disagreements and politics. Afghanistan is far more complex.
This war is not confined to Afghanistan or Iraq. It is viral, like swine flu. We can't prevail if we act as if it is only "over there." It is also here, in America and in Europe and in every place where radical Muslims have migrated.
The radicals are fighting this war as if defeating America and the West is their top priority. That's because it is. Are we that serious, or do we think anything less from our side will produce less resolve on their side?
The president faces strong opposition to his decision from his kook fringe base in the Democratic Party. Neither the political war or the real war is likely to end soon.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.