>> Tuesday, November 24, 2009
An unfortunate aspect of the nature of politics is that principled opposition to disastrous and/or immoral policies tends to either disappear or at least lose much of its intensity when such policies are adopted by politicians one supports.
Certainly over the last year we've seen this among what passes for the political left in this country, in regard to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It's true that Obama inherited these wars. He was elected to end them.
Yet today it's being reported that, after nearly doubling the US military presence in Afghanistan earlier this year, he has decided to increase that number by 50%, at a direct cost of one million dollars per soldier. The indirect costs are incalcuable.
The administration's plan contains "off-ramps," points starting next June at which Obama could decide to continue the flow of troops, halt the deployments and adopt a more limited strategy or "begin looking very quickly at exiting" the country, depending on political and military progress, one defense official said.
"We have to start showing progress within six months on the political side or military side or that's it," the U.S. defense official said.
In short, the next six months will be crucial.
If you haven't yet seen this recent Frontline program on the current situation in that country it's worth your time.