"Obama's Surprising Afghanistan Surge" - Jeffrey Goldberg
Who could have known that Barack Obama would double-down in Afghanistan? Only people who listened to Barack Obama:
Ending the war [JW: in Iraq] 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.[JW: The rest of this op-ed by Obama, which appeared in the New York Times on July 14, 2008, is here.]
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.