Twelve more years of American casualties and no victory. That is all you need to know about President Obama’s superfluous trip to Afghanistan.
For all his anti-war posturing, and despite all his talk of “winding down” the military effort, Mr. Obama flew 14,000 miles to vote “present” on the issues of American leadership.
Just as in the Illinois State Senate and the United States Senate, when the going gets tough, Obama marks attendance. He has systematically avoiding tough political calls by voting neither yea or nay, but merely “present.” In his campaign photo-op of a visit to Afghanistan, Mr. Obama struck a pose of leadership – but did essentially nothing.
With his eleven minute speech and signed accord with Afghan President Karzai, Obama did three things:
- Promised to talk more later about meaningful talks with Afghanistan. Seriously. Obama labeled this an “historic accord,” somehow with a straight face.
- Pledged to keep American troops stationed in Afghanistan for 12 more years. So, while Obama last year said that there will be no more “combat” troops in Afghanistan, he yesterday agreed to keeps American service men and women in-country until 2024 for “security.” I imagine the difference between security and combat matters little to the families back home, and worry that such a slight difference may actually endanger more lives through constrained terms of engagement.
- Failed to mention the 2,000 Americans who died in Afghanistan or utter the word “victory.” When it comes to valuing and respecting the men and women who sacrifice for our nation, Mr. Obama is more “present” than he is a true “commander” in chief.