Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sudden Concerns

The level of panic over the war in Afghanistan is just amazing. After getting the "good war" they wanted, the part of America that leans toward retreat in all wars is making their list of reasons to get out concerns. The problem is, their concerns make no sense:

As concerns grow about the war in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is heading to South Asia on a mission aimed at refining the goals of the nearly 9-year-old conflict.

U.S. lawmakers are increasingly questioning the course of the war. The number of soldiers from the U.S. and other countries in the international coalition in Afghanistan is on the rise. Corruption is a deep problem in Afghanistan, and members of Congress wonder about the utility of massive aid to both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

More troops is a problem? Lack of troops was the main complaint of the anti-Iraq War side back when the war in Iraq raged. You'd think they'd be happy to get what they long said they wanted.
Are the concerned lawmakers arguing that back when Afghanistan was neglected that there was no corruption? Why is corruption suddenly deeply concerning and reason to think of bugging out?
As for the utility of massive aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan, wasn't this group of people recently demanding more civilian aid because military solutions can't win a counter-insurgency? Then, they wanted to use that excuse to downgrade military operations. Now, they just wonder about aid. What changed? And if not aid to complement miltiary action, how would they win the war?
But that question assumes that these concerned critics want to win the war. They don't want to win.

Look, some members of Congress and their backers always have their running shoes on and are always prepared to lose the only war we're in. Afghanistan is no exception no matter how many times they called it the "real" war on terrorism, the "good" war, or the "necessary" war.
Before long, appropriations for the war in Afghanistan will be close votes, just as the war hung in the balance in Congress during the summer of 2007.

Will President Obama endure this kind of opposition from his own base when the going gets tough? That's my concern.

UPDATE: Barone writes about how the Afghan campaign lost its status as the "good war." This change was all predictable once you understood the role of Iraq in how it got that name. Barone cites some interesting polling data on Iraq, too, continuing the early trends in opinion after the surge.