by Michael Rubin
Announcing the results of his administration's first policy review on Afghanistan more than eight months ago, President Barack Obama declared, "I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future." To achieve those goals, the president explained, "we need a stronger, smarter and comprehensive strategy." Unfortunately, the strategy Obama announced tonight will not achieve it.
On Aug. 30, 2009 Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top
McChrystal is a veteran counterinsurgency expert. He made his request based not on politics, but a calculation of what it would take to win in
There should be nothing wrong with an open-ended commitment to victory. In late 2006 and early 2007, when the Bush administration put the finishing touches on the strategy that would become the
Obama is not Bush. By declaring his commitment finite, he removes the psychological force from his surge. NATO allies, who, because of limits they place on their troops' activities, are hardly dependable on the best days, will understand that absent
Obama is also wrong to believe that his surge will buy enough time to inject stability into
Michael Rubin, a senior lecturer at the
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