How do we know when we have won the war in Afghanistan? Many critics of the Bush administration fault him for not being clear about his definition of winning the war in Iraq. But in light of Barack Obama’s comments today in Paris, it is crucial to hold the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate to the same standard.
Sen. Obama has always maintained that the war in Iraq was a distraction and a war on terror being fought in the wrong place. He has always said that Afghanistan is where the U.S. and others need to concentrate their firepower to defeat the Taliban and the terrorist forces associated with Osama bin Laden. But when Obama says “we’ve got to finish the job” and “Afghanistan is a war we have to win,” he needs to be clear with American voters exactly what, in his view, would constitute a win there.
And, what about Pakistan? There is little doubt among diplomats and intelligence officials that Pakistan’s so-called tribal areas are home to the the thugs and common criminals bent on destroying the West. If Obama is elected President (and some say he is behaving of late as if he already has been) what will he do about Pakistan? Does the United States go to war against that nation,too? He has already indicated he might be inclined to use force there.
Iran and its nuclear secrets
On the subject of Iran, Obama is sounding more and more like the conventional politician he claims to disdain. He says that Iran must quickly accept a call to freeze its uranium enrichment program. He and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, says Obama, agreed that Iran represents “an extraordinary grave situation.”
What happened to the talk early on about sitting down and talking with Iranians instead of threatening them? Obama has slowly backed away from that position as the campaign has progressed and after he did away with all his political challengers, including Hillary Clinton. In fact, his current take on Iran sounds a lot like—-well—like Bush’s take on Iran?
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