WSJ: President Breaks Silence on Afghanistan

May 17, 2012
Defense Drumbeat

"Obama in Kabul: The President gives his first major Afghan remarks since June."
Wall Street Journal editorial board
May 2, 2012

“President Obama has been in the political equivalent of an undisclosed location on Afghanistan for nearly a year, so what a pleasant surprise Tuesday to see him emerge on the subject . . . in Afghanistan.

“The troops were no doubt delighted to see him visit and to remind Americans that there's a war on, even if the timing of this quick sojourn looks suspiciously like another victory lap on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's killing… 

“The Afghan campaign needs Mr. Obama's closer attention and vocal support. The American public has turned skeptical on the conflict, with 60% telling pollsters that the remaining 90,000 U.S. soldiers should come home soon. Yet Mr. Obama has rarely tried to sway them. Since announcing in June of last year an early drawdown of his "surge" forces, the President hasn't given a single major speech on Afghanistan.

“Mr. Obama did do some serious work in Kabul, in particular signing a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai…Afghans and their neighbors, none more than Pakistan, need to hear that American won't abandon Southwest Asia. 

“It’s good to see Mr. Obama emerge from his self-imposed Tora Bora, even if the reason is his campaign's desire to play up his foreign policy record. April was a bloody month for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, with 41 killed in action, and the troops need to know their commander still supports them.”


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