The Tragedy of Obama's Choice in Afghanistan
And how we might actually be able to escape the war
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Sep 29, 2010 10:53 AM CDT
This image provided by Simon & Schuster shows the cover of Bob Woodward's new book, "Obama's Wars."   (AP Photo/Simon & Schuster)

(Newser) – Underneath all the Beltway intrigue in Bob Woodward’s new book “lurks a saga of tragedy,” writes Fred Kaplan of Slate. The tragic hero: Barack Obama, who, after painstaking analysis, escalated a potentially unwinnable war. Fed up with a Pentagon that refused to offer him any options other than the full-scale escalation it favored, Obama devised his own strategy. It was, Woodward writes, “one of the rare examples in recent American history where a president had fully understood the contours of a national-security decision.”

Which means “this really is ‘Obama’s war,’” writes Kaplan. “The tragedy is that, for all the intelligent thinking and meticulous strategizing, the war may well be unwinnable.” The Taliban’s safe haven in Pakistan, and the corrupt Karzai government seem to preclude any meaningful victory. But Woodward does hint at a possible escape, suggesting an “end run” in which some Taliban, wary of exile in Pakistan, break with al-Qaeda and reconcile with the government. But first we’ll have to rack up some tactical and political victories—and only Obama’s own plan can do that.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Sep 30, 2010 9:28 AM CDT
This president is giving the nation the greatest roadshow on Earth. He rarely is at home but is everywhere broadly smiling and speechmaking, no president has talked as much and If he had the time he would be at our dinner table entertaining us with his eloquence.
Sep 29, 2010 5:07 PM CDT
From a neighborhood organizer to chief of the armed forces and supreme military planner. Let students in every classrooms throughout the country paste Barry's picture into classroom dictionaries next to the words "arrogance," *inexperienced," and "narcissist."
Sep 29, 2010 2:10 PM CDT
The only option to get out of this war is to have an diplomatic talk with the Taliban. Otherwise the US soldiers can never fully get out of the Afganistan. The world is at the tip of something phenomenal. Either everything will be destroyed or new world system has to be created. Every problem is starting to become global. No one nation can resolve the issue. It has become a responsibility of each nation and citizen to take part to manifest a world of true freedom, beauty and prosperity. It is only a matter of time when the system will start to crash. We all know that the current system of government and economy is incapable of handling the current issue that the world is facing today. Gone are those days when one country would have a war with another country to hide issue from its citizen. Humanity as a whole is entering a new phase. Everything falls down to the choice that each of use will make in the coming days. "Be the change you want to see in the world" - (Mahatma Gandhi)