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Opinion: Obama's Afghan Surge Failed

The Right Politics

Now that President Barack Obama has ended the military surge in Afghanistan, the analysts are taking a hard look at what was accomplished since Obama made his surprising move in 2009 when he decided to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, very little – if anything – has improved in Afghanistan. More than a waste of our nation’s time and money, it has been a waste of more Americans’ lives.

Additionally, what was given as a reason for sending tens of thousands more troops to Afghanistan in February of 2009 has fallen by the wayside as there are current discussions on the effect of the United States’ involvement in the Taliban-laden and troubled country.

According to reports, various Taliban and related attacks against NATO powers were approximately 2,700 in August of 2009 when Obama made his contrary-to-campaign promised-move to step up the nation’s military assistance in Afghanistan. Three years later, in August of 2012, there were more attacks – nearly 3,000.

The question is obviously, why and how did President Obama’s method of dealing with the Taliban and related-attackers fail? There can be little argument that there was a lack of progress in curbing Taliban and related-attacks of any measurable amount. While military officials can claim that Afghanistan has been – and is still being – taught to deal with the Taliban, there is no proof of the onslaught of the Taliban in Afghanistan being curbed. Nor is there solid proof that the Afghanistan people are defending themselves appropriately.

At first glance, criticism of the non-results of the Afghanistan surge is a difficult call for any political position to cast upon President Obama because, as one will remember, both sides of the political aisle believed that further involvement in Afghanistan was a good idea at the beginning of Obama’s presidential term when he ordered additional troops overseas.

However, the fact that the Afghan people have now turned against the Americans whose presence was designed to help the Afghanistan government and its people could be calculated as a criticism of President Obama and his chosen-military leadership due to a military apparently-poorly managed and operated due to its lack of success in reaching its goal.

The ultimate decision to send more troops to Afghanistan nearly four years ago was the president’s, and data dictates that it did not turn out beneficial. Therefore, the Afghan surge is definitely a negative mark against Obama’s presidency.

The question should be asked as to whether the timing of his ending the Afghan surge was a political move or a military move in the best interest of Afghanistan and the terrorism-concerns throughout the globe. Any sudden decisions that Obama makes in these months leading to his re-election can safely be assumed to be a political move for re-election. Something as serious as foreign affairs and the safety of our men and women in uniform should obviously not be played in the elective process.

About Scott Paulson

Scott Paulson writes political commentary for and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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