Jon Soltz: Is Obama About to Announce a Faster End to the Afghan War?
One of the advantages of serving a few tours in Iraq as an officer is the number of contacts I've made who have gone on to be senior planners in Afghanistan. What I am hearing from them about the state of things in Afghanistan, and reading the tea leaves, it seems that President Obama may be on the verge of announcing a major change in mission in Afghanistan, one which largely pulls back our troops from previous plans for the summer, and puts us on an expedited path towards ending the war. Currently, Afghanistan is obviously a big subject at the NATO conference in Chicago, with France's new government already having promised to remove troops. Meanwhile, General John Allen has announced his departure as commander of forces in Afghanistan, while the President just returned from Afghanistan. And, it seems not coincidental that The New York Times Sunday edition ran a piece on Obama's last shift on the war. Even still, the entire strategy and summer offensive only would be ultimately successful if the Afghan Army, with the support of the people, could defeat insurgents themselves, in the same way the Sunni Awakening and Iraqi Army did in Iraq. Being that, Afghanistan is a fractious and decentralized country, that was a tall order. That's why VoteVets.org has always called on President Obama to adopt a counter-terror mission in the region. Counter-terror operations target the enemy where they are, and take them out. It's the strategy that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden and top al-Qaeda targets around the world. It costs less in money and lives. It doesn't deplete our troops and our military. And it doesn't put military men and women in the position of having to win over an entire country, under the real risk that a few bad troops could topple the entire house of cards!