I leave it to others to analyze President Obama's speech on his decision to send American troops to Afghanistan and then bring them back in 2011. However, I will note that the video of the speech I saw on the Internet focused on a group of cadets as he announced the time table for withdrawl. Their faces did not reflect enthusiasm for the announced withdrawl. (In fact, I have never seen such hostile faces in the audience for a Presidential speech.)
While the President did outline a brief history of the conflict in Afghanistan and some of the reasons we cannot let it fall , he failed to mention the most dire consequences of all if America fails in that nation. There are those in Afghanistan who have allied themselves against the Taliban and Al-Queda who will be killed if we abandon them. If the U.S. military fails in its mission there, a bloodbath will ensue as militant Islamists seek revenge against their enemies. A premature withdrawl could bring about the same result. If Obama actually orders the troops to be withdrawn before the mission is accomplished, then the enemy can, after a period of inactivity, resume its war on the Afghan people, Afghanistan's neighbors and the rest of the world. I am sure those who have cooperated with us in Afghanistan as well as those who have taken advantage of the freedom our military has provided them to open schools and start up new businesses began to have a queasy feeling after Obama announced the 2011 withdrawl. After all, America has had a recent history of abandoning allies to the enemy. Remember the Cambodian Boat People? Remember what happened to the Kurds in Iraq after George Bush the elder allowed Sadaam Hussien to remain in power after the first Gulf War? It was JFK who withdrew air support for the Bay of Pigs Invasion. If we abandon the people of Afghanistan to Militant Islam, not only will blood be on our hands, but America will never be trusted for many decades to come. There are those who maintian that the only way to bring about a peaceful, free Afghanistan would be through humanitarian relief. In the long run that may be correct. But in the interim, who will protect the Afghan school children (especially girls) from having acid thrown on them, or worse, because they want to receive an education? Who will guarantee that hospitals that treat women, or which employ women doctors, will not be shut down after being attacked? Who will guarantee the stability needed for businesses and political institutions to develop? Who will prevent Al-Queda and the Taliban from subverting neighboring countries such as Pakistan? Ultimately we would hope that the answer would be the Afghans themselves. But they are not yet in a position to do so without our help. Without our military assitance now, the conditions for humanitarian aid to transform Afghanistan will not develop. Yes, the Afghan government is corrupt. But it is often the case that corruption and democratic forces exist side by side. Should those who put their lives on the line to improve their own lot as well as the lot of their countrymen be abandoned because corruption exists in their government? Would President Obama not allied himself with Stalin to defeat Hitler? No matter what past mistakes have been made militarily and diplomatically (this article will not debate this topic), America has no choice in the matter if it wants to defeat militant Islam. America has no choice if it wishes to maintain its credibility as a reliable ally. America has no choice if it does not want to be accountable for the slaughter of those who resist the Taliban and Al-Queda.