It’s Time to Chart a New Course on Afghanistan


This “It’s Time” ad will be running on various CNN slots this week to push for reduction of forces in Afghanistan. The ad is more assertive and emotional than I am on these issues. I’m not a pacifist and there are times when war and the deployment of force are important, vital tools.
But I do believe that the White House needs to remind the Pentagon who is running the show — and that very few of the benchmarks that the military said were reachable if the surge in forces was granted by the President have been met.
The reason that “it’s time” to reduce the US military footprint in Afghanistan is that we are seeing the containment of American power — not the leveraging of it. The longer we stay tied down in the mess there, the more current allies will not count on the US as much as they used to, and the more other foes around the world will try to expedite their agendas.
And spending $119 billion in FY2011 in Afghanistan in a country with $14 billion GDP — while the rest of the country is going through such pain in the forthcoming budget slashing wars makes no sense.
— Steve Clemons