War for Political Repute

John Glaser, May 22, 2012

David Rothkopf on “Obama’s Debacle” in Afghanistan:

…The president opposed his own policy of sending in more troops to stabilize Afghanistan from the moment he approved it after months and months of messy internal wrangling. So why did he do it? The answer is that that Obama was leaving Iraq and could not afford to look weak in Afghanistan at the same time or he would come under political attack from the right. Getting out faster might also alienate the military to the point that public discord would damage the president. Although White House-military relations were strained from the beginning of his administration, Obama’s team worked hard to keep a lid on tensions. So they swallowed their doubts about the military judgments they were getting about a conflict they were increasingly sure was unwinnable.

Some will see this as an attempt to absolve Obama from full responsibility for his 2009 decision to surge in Afghanistan. I see it as all the more damning, aside from being probably accurate. In fact, I wrote more than a year ago that Obama’s war in Afghanistan was about saving political face. Throughout history there have been a lot of reasons for going to war, but few are as cynical as one’s political reputation. Hundreds of billions of dollars were wasted, thousands of soldiers and civilians were killed so that Obama could avoid being called a wimp by Republicans. How offensive.




9 Responses to “War for Political Repute”

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  2. Pretty sick people we're dealing with here. Not surprising though. Pretty much everything the government does hurts me, puts my family members in danger and millions of others just like me. I say this right now as I'm filling up my car at nearly $5 a gallon! Allowing millions to be impoverished and killed for the sake of re-election or to save face is just part of the game for these psyhopaths.

  3. Nothing new here. Nixon bombed Cambodia in order to not appear weak. Hell, I'll bet Obama even solicited Kissinger's opinion before ordering the Afghan escalation.

  4. Afghanistan was in the party platform before Obama was ever elected. He has embraced his inner warmonger with zeal, but the only thing he did to appease republicans on war matters is to interfere with the justice dept for trials for the USS Cole bombing to be put under a military commission instead of US courts where they belonged.

  5. The establishment folks are true blue cowards, which is why they do everything to "appear" warrior like. They give me the creeps.

    Prior to his election, Obama denounced the Iraq War but said that the Afghanistan War was the real war, the one he supported, no?

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  7. [...] David Rothkopf, CEO and editor at large of Foreign Policy magazine, has written that President Obama was reluctant to recommit to the Afghan war with a surge in troops from the beginning, but that he did it anyways because he “could not afford to look weak” or “come under political attack from the right.” So, thousands of coalition soldiers and tens of thousands of Afghans have been killed because Obama was afraid to be called a wimp. [...]

  8. [...] The trial of the NGO officials in Cairo has been postponed, perhaps in order to give the Obama administration a final opportunity to make a deal with the Egyptians. Meanwhile, Washington is whining that the trial is “politically motivated” – because nothing they do is ever motivated by political gain. [...]

  9. [...] The trial of the NGO officials in Cairo has been postponed, perhaps in order to give the Obama administration a final opportunity to make a deal with the Egyptians. Meanwhile, Washington is whining that the trial is “politically motivated” – because nothing they do is ever motivated bypolitical gain. [...]