• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Victory in Afghanistan is Still Possible

    On his radio show yesterday, former Sen. Fred Thompson upped his criticism of President Barack Obama’s handling of the war in Afghanistan, predicting:

    It really doesn’t matter how President Obama divides the Afghan baby, how he splits the difference between McChrystal and Biden. Because the war has been lost. I say this because of one sad and simple fact. The president does not have the will and determination to do what’s necessary to win it. His heart’s not in it, and never has been. The Taliban knows it. Al Qaeda knows it. Our allies know it. And the American people know it.

    Our enemies are now emboldened and our friends are discouraged. We cannot prevail if the American people are not willing to make the sacrifices necessary for an extended effort. The case has not been made to them to justify this effort. The case can only be made by the president. This president is unable or unwilling to make that case.

    Thompson is half right. If the Obama administration chooses to deny its field commander’s request for the troops and resources necessary to fully implement a counterinsurgency strategy, the results would likely be disastrous. Half measures are guaranteed to fail.

    But all hope is not lost. On the campaign trail President Obama showed he has the leadership and the rhetorical skills necessary to inspire Americans. As a candidate last year, and even as recently as this August, President Obama acknowledged the centrality of defeating the Taliban to American security. That President Obama could win this war.

    Victory is still possible. It all depends on whether the President’s heart is in it.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    17 Responses to Victory in Afghanistan is Still Possible

    1. Drew, Albertville Mi says:

      As a Gulf War I Veteran, I find the author's optimism sickening. Everything that this president has done has done nothing but weaken the United States. Where in his actions does anyone see the strength to lead anyone? He can speak in platitudes, He can make policies that is in line with his agenda, but I have yet to see any leadership ability. Next year leadership is coming to the House and Senate. By that time, we will really need it….

    2. Robyn, MS says:

      That "Resident" that promised all those things was a farce. He has nothing on his agenda but bringing this country to its knees. Never waste a crisis, remember? I can't remember in the past 10 months we have not been without a crisis. I am exhausted!!!! He has abandoned our Hero's with his mentality of more troops being worth the cost "safety worthy" is the term he used. He has made them be sitting ducks. I truly believe he has no intention of winning, he has retreat on his mind. I cannot now nor do I ever expect to be able to wrap my head around the total Perversion of the U.S.Constitution this man has handed us. I am ashamed of him.

    3. Trey, Texas says:

      I think Fred is 100% correct. I think Fred would agree with you that the war is winnable if "the President's heart is in it," but Fred said what he said because he believes the President's heart is NOT in it. I think if Fred believed the President had his heart in winning the war, then I think he would have said pretty much exactly what you said.

      So go Fred! I completely agree with you!

    4. D.S.M., California says:

      The Afgan war is lost and the body bags are piling up. This is just what Obama wants!

      He wants another Vietnam.

    5. Brian H says:

      'Fraid not, Conn. His mojo is all past tense, and on an irreversible decline. You see, he has PROVEN that he can "smile, and smile, and be a villain". Never again will that necessary naive, infantile trust be offered by the public. No matter how much they want to worship now, even semi-simple voters will make their commitment conditional, and that's the kiss of death for the Barack Gantrys of the world.

    6. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    7. James, Texas Panhand says:

      Leadership sustains leadership. To think Obama demonstrated leadership and showed the public how he can inspire them over a year ago, assumes leadership is sustained by missteps and faulty footing. Obama is wandering in a wilderness and is lost. I refuse to follow a leader without a compass.

      Obama never had a compass.Only a telepromter.

    8. Betty says:

      Obama is leading America down a path of destruction. He is to much of a push over to lead America. Bringing terrorist muslims on American soil to be tried in our civilian courts. giving rights to them that belong to American citizens. Spending and corruption surrounds him and his people in charge. appointing czars without Senate approval. Take his sweet time making a decision conserning our troops. The list is endless. He is not qualified for the job.

    9. Warren Lyckman, Hill says:

      Obama's great speach making is about to catch up on him. Great speaches don't result in great results or even any results at all

    10. Oscar Patino says:

      Mr. Obama's heart appears to follow the dictates of his socialist soul, thus we can not expect his actions to be in the best interest of the nation that has objectively demonstrated the virtues of freedom, the free market and individual responsibility. Let's evaluate him on his actions rather that his rhetoric. He has had since August to make a decision on the recommendation of the general he chose to lead in Afghanistan, but has not, even though the delay puts the defenders of our freedom in danger. That is reckless, immoral and irresponsible.

    11. Roger S., Ma. says:

      Having a “heart” is not enough. Getting “one’s heart in” something requires a mind. It takes more, much more, than the easy words of scripted campaign rhetoric.

      For instance, a diligent bending of the will to immutable facts, both specific and of wider scope, is required. Connecting the dots is needed — with an appreciation that these dots are real, and wishing won’t move a one of them. That takes a mind, something more than the simple sum of the parts, intelligence and information.

      To quote Robert Frost: “…it’s knowing what to do with things that counts.” An election campaign doesn’t require that, which is why these things have always been a poor measure. A better measure was the “present” votes in the Illinois legislature. That was the truest “hint” of things to come. Most voters didn’t appreciate that. Next time, they might. “It’s knowing what to do with things that counts”!

    12. Pingback: The Senate Cloakroom: Nov. 30 – Dec. 4 : Conservative Blog: Urban Conservative 2.0 – Conservative News & Politics

    13. Bruce Cameron says:

      Real Clear Politics Poll this is not right Obama is at a low not 50% but more 41% and almost 60% Disaprovel for one say He is a trader to our Country and need to be impeach'et Now not later He Broke is Oath He took I think he whats to run the E U we need a Oath Keeper in the Whitehouse and it's not Obama. he need's to go along with Read and Nancy P for Pork and anyone who has not payed ther Tax's they should not have a vote till they Do or Kick them out Also . No more pork spending.or Rais's in the congress and the Sen. till you pay the ssi amd Vet Comp rais's Its WE THE PEOPLE NOT we the gov't WE WILL VOTE THE dEMORATS OUT IN 2010 WE WON'T FORGET OR GO AWAY

    14. Pingback: Top Ten Questions and Answers on Obama’s Strategy in Afghanistan | The Foundry

    15. Pingback: The Senate Cloakroom: Nov. 30 – Dec. 4 | Conservative Principles Now

    16. Pingback: Top Ten Questions and Answers on Obama’s Strategy in Afghanistan | Conservative Principles Now

    17. Pingback: The Greenroom » Forum Archive » Half-Measures

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.