Thursday, November 5, 2009

President Obama Faces Grim Situation To End Afghan War

October was a painful month for the US troops in Afghanistan. On 26 October, the US military forces in Afghanistan lost three helicopters at the cost of 14 US soldiers and civilians lives. This was the highest number of the US troops killed in a single day in Afghanistan during the past four years.

On 28 October, eight more US troops died in bomb attacks in Afghanistan. These latest US troop casualties will give additional pressure to US President Barack Obama to think again if he should indeed send more troops to the Afghan war front.

Obama's Words
Faced with the issue of whether the United States should indeed send more troops to Afghanistan or not, what President Obama can do, at present, is to boost the confidence of the US soldiers. He said that he would not risk the lives of US soldiers. President Obama's words can, of course, temporarily pacify the frontline combat soldiers in Afghanistan and their families. But when faced with more and more grim situation in Afghanistan, President Obama must make his decision fast because the time is running out.

The top US military commander in Afghanistan has warned that if President Obama did not send additional 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, the United States might soon lose this war, and that eight years of military investment in Afghanistan and the sacrifices of the US troops will come to zero. President Obama's delay in making a decision on the troop increment has led to the Republican Party shelling Obama's hesitance and saying that Obama does not care about the safety of the frontline soldiers in Afghanistan.

Withdrawal of US Troop From Iraq
Former US President George W. Bush only needed to make decision of whether he should withdraw the US troop presence in Iraq toward the end of his second term as the US President. However, President Obama has to face such a critical decision within the first year as his tenure as the US President. Former US President Bush was thrown "shoe of shame" for staging the Iraq war. We believe President Obama will not want to receive similar "shoe of shame" treatment some three or seven years later.

However, more importantly, President Obama must consider carefully how much troops the United States can afford to send to Afghanistan? How long the United States can sustain its Afghan war effort at the expense of the US troop casualties?

Illusion of Stability
The protesting voices in the United States against sending more troops to Afghanistan are getting stronger and stronger, but the Afghan Government supported by the United States is still an incompetent government. Afghan President Hamid Karzai nurtured by the United States, has committed serious electoral offence and Afghanistan has to go for the second round of presidential elections. When the situation in Afghanistan cannot even give people an illusion of stability, can President Obama just wash his hands off? This is a tough decision for President Obama.

The Afghan war was started by former President Bush, but it is now up to present President Obama to clean up the mess. We are a bit curious to find out that between President Obama's decision of "to send or not to send troops," will President Obama put the glorious Nobel Peace Prize crown that is on his head as one of his decisionmaking considerations?

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