A War the Neocons Lost
(The American Conservative) -- by Patrick J. Buchanan --
In deciding to pull all of the 30,000 troops from the surge out of Afghanistan, six weeks before Election Day 2012, but only 10,000 by year’s end, President Obama has satisfied neither the generals nor the doves.
He has, however, well served his political interests.
A larger drawdown would have risked the gains made in Kandahar and Helmand and invited a revolt of the generals, some of whom might resign and denounce Obama for denying them the forces to prevail.
Sen. John McCain, citing some generals, is already saying that, with fewer troops and more missions per unit, U.S. casualties will rise.
A smaller drawdown would have enraged the left, whose support is indispensable to Obama’s winning a second term.
So, our president did what comes naturally: cut the baby in half.
Strategically, removal of 30,000 troops in 15 months means that Obama has given up all hope of victory over the Taliban. Gen. MacArthur’s dictum — “In war, there is no substitute for victory” — is inoperative in yet another American war.
Obama’s strategic goal now is the avoidance of defeat, until the election of 2012 is behind him. And by retaining 70,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan during the fighting season and political season of 2012, he has an insurance policy against a Taliban Tet-style offensive or major U.S. military reversal as voters begin to fill out absentee ballots...
Make no mistake. Obama is headed for the exit ramp, and the Karzai government and Afghan army will not succeed where that same government and army, backed by 150,000 U.S. and NATO troops, could not succeed.
McCain and the neocons will blame what is coming, a terrible day in Kabul and across Afghanistan, on those who refused to soldier on, no matter the cost in blood and treasure.
But the people who should be indicted by history are not those who, after half a trillion dollars and a decade of bleeding, decided to cut America’s losses, but those who stampeded this country into two of the longest and least necessary wars in the history of the republic...MORE...LINK