Go All In on Afghan War, McCain, Lieberman Say

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2009 7:16 AM CDT
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, accompanied by Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., point to supporters during a campaign rally in Miami, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan must roundly reject the so-called “minimalist” approach being whispered about in DC, write John McCain and Joe Lieberman in today’s Washington Post. The minimalists want the US to focus on limited, “realistic” counterterrorism goals. But McCain and Lieberman remind Obama that during the campaign he called Afghanistan “the war we must win.”

“Let there be no doubt: The war in Afghanistan can be won,” the Senate buddies write. But to focus on terrorism would be to repeat the mistakes of Iraq. Before 2007, the military killed plenty of terrorists even as terrorism raged. The switch to a counterinsurgency strategy, focused on protecting civilians, turned the tide. That’s the strategy we must adopt again. Minimalism “is a recipe not for winning smarter, but for losing slowly.”