When it comes to Obama’s new agenda for Americans in harms way, Benghazi is only a reflection of a continuing shift in the direction of foreign and, especially, military policy since Obama took office.
Under George Bush, America soldiers used the best tactics at their disposal to neutralize and destroy Taliban and insurgent forces. This included night raids, and strategic missile strikes. Since Obama has become commander in chief, however, the Afghan conflict has become more about showing respect and deference to the enemy than about routing it. Night raids have ceased. Insurgents who are caught without weapons are processed and let go. Prisoners even are question about their treatment under capture and released if they say they were mistreated.
It seems that Obama’s new agenda in Afghanistan and the rest of the Middle East is clear: don’t offend the enemy and don’t hurt him too badly. This is a perfect plan for him to still be able to appear tough on terror but also make it clear to his friends in the Taliban that he can be trusted not to cause a major change in power in the region. After all, he can tell the American people, he even surged the troops in Afghanistan, just like Bush did in Iraq.
It seems that Obama has either forgotten the lessons of Vietnam, or he feels he is entirely justified in repeating the mistakes of the Johnson Administration. In that war, we learned the lesson that nothing is more demoralizing to soldiers than to have their leadership pull back from an objective of total victory.
It is almost as if Obama is apologizing to the insurgents for having to violate their space and take out Bin Laden. “Yeah, I got a little rough, but I had to do it to appease the folks back home. After all, I’m in a political race, so I need the points. But I’ll make sure we make it up to you, so you don’t look like we humiliated you.” Afghanistan is not a soccer game. It’s not a question of whether we are going to hurt the other side’s feelings if we beat them too badly. This is life and death! If we don’t kill them, they will kill us! Many will say that we should not be there in the first place. I would be among those people. But, now that we are there and have been there, we are responsible for all the people of Afghanistan that have trusted us to help them stabilize the country. If we decide to cut and run, it will be like Saigon in 75 all over again.
Johnson and Nixon both mistakenly believed that they could reach a compromise that would prevent the collapse of South Vietnam after American’s pulled out. They did not understand an enemy that would fight till very extinction instead of allowing a split of power. The Taliban and other extremist groups have made it abundantly clear that they will use any means necessary to repulse freedom forces. This includes suicide. Appeasement will cause nothing but another blood bath in Afghanistan. Only a hard-line policy that completely devastates the power of the insurgents to wreak chaos and fear on the people of Afghanistan will give the Afghan people any hope of non-coerced self-determination.
Certainly I questioned Bush’s judgment in making his military campaign about liberating Afghanistan. We were there to punish, and to say to the world that, if you hit us, we will hit back so hard that you will never want to do it again. In the meantime, we got caught up in making a little America out of Afghanistan. But it will never be that. Best case scenario, we won’t have a repeat of the end of Vietnam. In the meantime, our top priority should be to protect America lives. To believe that the politically correct stance Obama has forced the military to project in the region will stir any love for America is to totally fail to understand the true nature of the situation there. It also will spell long term disaster for military resolve in the long run and cost precious lives in the meantime.
- Al-Qaeda attempting a comeback in Afghanistan (thehimalayantimes.com)
- When Our Embassy Was Under Attack — And Our People Still Alive — Obama Ordered No Military Action (minx.cc)
- Report: Hillary Asked For More Security in Benghazi, Obama Said No (genomega1.wordpress.com)
- Obama’s Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan Costing Troups’ LivesSoldiers-ordered-shoot-Taliban