Poll: More Americans Now Against Afghanistan War
Well, THIS NEWS is sooner than I expected. I didn’t expect to see this much support for ending the Afghanistan war until next year. UPDATE: I have changed the title because I read the poll too quickly. The poll says that 42% of the people now think going INTO Afghanistan was a mistake. This surprises me even more. The poll doesn’t ask how we get out or what to do, now. It’s not a perfect poll.
But I think this rules out the Petraeus model of counterinsurgency. That model expects us to be in Afghanistan for at least 8 more years, increase troop levels to 600-700,000. But that is politically and economically IMPOSSIBLE. If you try to get those kind of troop levels without a draft, you are pulling troops out from the DMZ between North and South Korea and other other geopolitically sensitive places. What if we had another Katrina-style disaster without, once again, enough National Guard troops available? The other way to get those kind of troop levels would be with a draft. Good luck getting that through Congress. And if 42% of the public are now calling the decision to go to Afghanistant “a mistake” (much higher than any time previously), then there is no way that the public would tolerate a continued high-volume presence for another FOUR years, never mind EIGHT.
Whatever the plan is for Afghanistan, it must be something that is politically and economically possible and doesn’t make the nation more vulnerable in the process. That’s going to demand a different, peacemaking approach. I don’t know if the president is talking to the right kinds of people to shape such an approach, but I hope so.
I hope the president is listening because I still fear that Afghanistan could be for Obama what Vietnam was for LBJ: derailing a progressive domestic agenda.
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