The NY Times reported a new poll showing fading public support for our undertaking in Afghanistan.
Defense Sec Panetta says he won't be guided by polls.
I think he wil be guided by reality, and reality is, we aren't going to "win" there. And no, don't vex me by asking for a definition of winning - denying Al Qaeda a safe haven in Afghanistan, thereby forcing them to operate out of Waziristan and Somalia, seems like an odd mix of sensible and stupid. Hoping for the first strong central Afghan government in half a millenium seems mostly stupid.
When enough Republicans are ready to quit Obama will bail out. Are we ready?
A MATTER OF POLL DESIGN: I know poll results can be influenced by the framing of the question, but JOM readers are far too tough minded for my subtle shading to bias the responses here. So, on Afghanistan should we:
a) Get out
b) Get the hell out
c) Get the hell out yesterday
d) Remain with thumbs firmly up...
Well, that should be scientific.
LEST YOU QUESTION MY LACK OF COMMITMENT...
Way back in September 2009 I was wondering why we should get behind the escalation of an anti-war President who was committed to delivering theater rather than victory; I made the same point in July 2010:
My official editorial position is that if we had Lincoln in the White House, the Afghani equivalent of George Washington in Kabul, and Generals Marshall and Eisenhower peering at maps of Kandahar, we might still lose in Afghanistan. Gen. Petraeus is a great general and a great American, but he is not partnered with Lincoln and Washington.
Conversely, we might be lucky enough to win even without a President committed to victory, but I don't think it is worth the chance. It's too late now, but it would have been better if Obama had never escalated the war.