War on Terrorism

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Splitting the Difference: Still Broken

I criticized the last administration, and I criticized the lame bi-partisan efforts to analyze policy options for Iraq. The current administration is not bringing anything better to the table.

We hear that President Obama is deliberating between various options to increase the level of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Apparently, all options call for more troops, and we're just arguing over how many. This shows how broken this process is.

While the number of troops we commit to Afghanistan must make some difference, it cannot possibly be the key to the solution. This war is in its eighth year. Al Qaeda followed us to Iraq, and it now seems entrenched in lawless areas of Pakistan.

I do not contend that the policy solutions to our global war on terror are easy. To the contrary, I argue that the solutions are far from obvious. We are not going to find a solution in any final "number of troops". We are going to find it in the commitment of the right resources. Twenty thousand more. Eighty thousand more. The magnitudes matter, but what we direct them to do matters far more. What we support them with matters far more. Ribbons? How about real policy choices -- tough policy choices about what we will and will not do with these precious resources. If we're arguing about the number, we're all losing the argument.

No comments: