Nov
24
2010

Kicking the can that’s Afghanistan.

Well, it’s official: there will be no withdrawal from Afghanistan prior to the 2012 Presidential election.  Not that there will be a withdrawal from Afghanistan after the 2012 election, either – and I invite anyone who wants to argue that point to first remember how the closing of Gitmo went, or more accurately, didn’t – but there are rules to this game, and the first is to pretend that you believe the press releases.  NATO did President Obama a favor on his domestic front by endorsing a 2014 plan; I have no idea what the President gave up in exchange, but with any luck it was something that he should have been offering them anyway.  That’s one of the few advantages to having an administration as weak as this one is on foreign relations; expectations are, as they say, lowered.

If one is wondering why Reuters was reporting that no decision had been reached on a 2014 timeline hours before the President himself confirmed that a 2014 timeline decision had been reached (and a week after  it was reported {via @DavePoff} that a 2014 timeline solution had been reached), that’s actually easy to explain.  Reuters must have talked to an administration official affiliated with the antiwar movement.  Those poor unfortunates are locked out of any meaningful policy oversight and generally given the mushroom treatment; it’s no surprise that they end up with a generally skewed vision of the universe.

Well, more skewed.  After all, people in the antiwar movement actually believed that the administration planned to exit Afghanistan in time for the 2012 elections.  Which is a profoundly silly thing to believe: the Right emphatically won’t vote for him if he does, the Left will continue to vote for him even if he doesn’t, and the Middle doesn’t react well to Democratic presidents who manage to lose wars.  2014 is a much better time for Obama: he doesn’t have to worry about reelection either way. Win-win, in other words.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: All of this was blatantly obvious, by the way.  I mention this to any random antiwar person that might happen to read this; remember, we’re not laughing with you.

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