Historically, what happens to the US when it is at war?
The article "No Rush to Escalate" at
states "At a White House dinner with a group of historians at the beginning of the summer, Robert Dallek, a shrewd student of both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, offered a chilling comment to President Obama. "In my judgment," he recalls saying, "war kills off great reform movements." The American record is pretty clear: World War I brought the Progressive Era to a close. When Franklin D. Roosevelt was waging World War II, he was candid in saying that "Dr. New Deal" had given way to "Dr. Win the War." Korea ended Harry Truman's Fair Deal, and Vietnam brought Lyndon Johnson's Great Society to an abrupt halt."
The article points out that Obama was elected to end wars, not elongate one of them and states "It's also enraging that those who insist on offsetting every penny spent to expand health coverage would never ask the Congressional Budget Office to score the costs of McChrystal's strategy. For the uninsured, they propose fiscal prudence. For war, they offer profligacy."
Look, members of the GOP propaganda organs were ecstatic when Obama failed to get the Olympics for Chicago. They will howl that Obama is guilty of the pre-9/11 thinking unless he gets us buried in Afghanistan. The article continues "Is this a situation in which Obama should commit tens of thousands more troops for a lengthy war?"
The article contains the criticism that the GOP will hurl at Obama: "There's a jelling conventional wisdom that if Obama doesn't go all in with McChrystal's strategy, he is admitting defeat and backing away from his earlier pledges." Phrases containing flip-flopper, pre-9/11 thinker, weak on terrorism will be run in an infinite loop by the GOP media allies.
With the information this article provides regarding war destroying American's reform movements Obama must consider what he wants. Does he want to be stuck in a quagmire and abandon his domestic reforms or does he want to reduce his losses in Afghanistan and have his domestic agenda prosper? The article concludes "Those most eager for a bigger war have little interest in Obama's quest for domestic reform. As he ponders his options, theirs are not the voices he should worry about."
Obama's administration realizes that they shouldn't have minions complaining about leadership's policies. The article "McChrystal Faulted On Troop Statements-- Public Campaign Hurts Review, Aide Says" at
states "National security adviser James L. Jones suggested Sunday that the public campaign being conducted by the U.S. commander in Afghanistan on behalf of his war strategy is complicating the internal White House review underway, saying that "it is better for military advice to come up through the chain of command."
Other superpowers have failed in Afghanistan and they had the goal of simply turning a profit there. What is our goal there? No one has an answer and that alone means that we have failed in meeting the requirements of the "Powell Doctrine of Engagement", which is widely viewed as being the barest requirement for the US engaging in war.
The article dealt with the recent assault which resulted in the deadliest day for U.S. forces in a year and says, "The coordinated assault, resulting in the deadliest day for U.S. forces in a year, could factor into the administration's Afghan strategy review that so far has focused largely on McChrystal's 66-page assessment of the war"
In his report, McChrystal warned that a "failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum" in the next 12 months "risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."
The Obama administration has not done a good job in describing that the superpower--in this case us, has never won 4th generation warfare--combat styles in which the Taliban and Al-Qaeda are adept at.
The article states "Among the questions being asked of McChrystal is whether a return of the Taliban to a position of political strength would automatically result in a new sanctuary for Al-Qaeda, the stated target of Obama's Afghanistan policy.