Most Americans would be content to declare victory and bring the bulk of our men and women home while maintaining some sort of elite, high-tech presence in the neighborhood to keep brush fires from turning into conflagrations.
Instead, Obama is following the blueprint drawn up by General David Petraeus and executed by George W. Bush in Iraq. A surge is a surge is a surge.
Although the Bush-Petraeus plan did stabilize Iraq, the odds are that that nation will disintegrate when America leaves. There is no reason to believe that this calamity will not be repeated when the US exits Afghanistan.
The promise of close review, deadlines, and tight congressional oversight are welcome, but they are thin reeds on which to hang hope.
Obama's Afghanistan surge could cripple his administration. The economic crisis may not be as fatal as it could have been, but it is still alarmingly dangerous. Couple a failure to revive the economy with anything less than success in Afghanistan and Obama faces political disaster.
There is no doubt that Islamist terrorists threaten the nation. But massive concentrations of troops are not the way to ensure America's safety. Even if by some stroke of providence the surge resulted in the capture or death of Osama bin Laden (if he's still alive), it is doubtful that our nation will be more secure.
Perhaps the most unnerving aspect of this huge mistake is that Obama — like Bush before him — cannot define what victory in Afghanistan will look like.
: The Editorial Page
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