- The Washington Times - Monday, November 30, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The United States will not finish the job in Afghanistan because the job that it should finish and the job in President Obama’s mind are two different things (“Obama to outline war plan at West Point,” Web, Wednesday). The job of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda and to eliminate their ability to sow terror in the United States and other Western nations. The job in Mr. Obama’s mind, however, is to get U.S. forces out of the country as soon as he possibly can with the least amount of political damage to himself.

Mr. Obama, a politician in the worst sense of the word, does not have the mindset to bring the war in Afghanistan to a successful conclusion. That would require him to be resolute and strong with a clear understanding of why the United States and NATO are there in the first place. It would require him to make a long-term military commitment, regardless of the political consequences and regardless of what other NATO members do.

He would have to place his anti-war mentality aside, exercise real leadership and vision, and be a wartime president. There is nothing in his record that indicates any of this is possible, and that is why the Taliban and al Qaeda won’t be defeated in Afghanistan or anywhere else as long as he is in office.

The plan that he reveals to the nation and the world will be full of contradictions, escape clauses, conditions, equivocations, rationalizations and spin. It will be typical Mr. Obama.

He will try to reassure and satisfy everybody while protecting himself at the same time. There will be a little bit for everyone but not enough for anyone. Instead of acting like the leader of the free world and making a bona fide commitment to victory, he will try to be all things to all people, which will enable him to blame others when things go wrong. That has been his pattern.

JERRY PHILIPSON

Comox, British Columbia, Canada

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