Obama’s recent decisions regarding the future strategy for Afghanistan seem to have taken a number of people by surprise.
I’m not sure why.
From a July 14, 2008 op-ed in The New York Times entitled “My Plan for Iraq” by then-Senator Barack Obama (emphasis mine):
Ending the war is essential to meeting our broader strategic goals, starting in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the Taliban is resurgent and Al Qaeda has a safe haven. Iraq is not the central front in the war on terrorism, and it never has been. As Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently pointed out, we won’t have sufficient resources to finish the job in Afghanistan until we reduce our commitment to Iraq.
As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan. We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there. I would not hold our military, our resources and our foreign policy hostage to a misguided desire to maintain permanent bases in Iraq.
Seems to me like he’s staying pretty much on-track with what he said he’d do. Though some may be disappointed in the direction he’s taken, I’d be hard-pressed to understand why anyone would be surprised.