There is, however, a danger of elevating the visibility of the military mission in Afghanistan in ways which obscure whatever diplomatic goals and achievements that are planned. It shouldn't be ignored that there have already been scores and scores of reconstruction projects, agriculture assistance, economic development and humanitarian aid initiatives - both in Iraq and Afghanistan - which haven't translated into an inoculation against the inevitable backlash against the devastation caused by our grudging, military missions.
President Obama has yet to explain how his new round of military action is going to be any more effective in the fight against 'al-Qaeda' and the Taliban 'extremists' than the last 7 years of arbitrary, collateral attacks on the Afghan and Pakistani population. The president's commanders 'on the ground' are predicting a 5 to 10 year conflict, though. Determined to correct the mistakes of the last administration, he'll have to make the entire military enterprise his own. How we respond to the president's ambitious effort will determine our own franchise in all of that.
Who's up for some nation-building militarism behind the sacrifices of our nation's defenders in Afghanistan? My eyes and ears may be fooling me, but I'd swear the Democratic party just gave over.