Obama should give his military commanders the best chance for success by approving their requests for additional troops and resources. That doesn’t mean feeding forces in slowly, though. An incremental approach that defers any requested troop reinforcements could jeopardize the success of the strategy.
Over the last several years, with the focus on Iraq, the U.S. has tried a “small footprint” strategy aimed at limiting the troops on the ground and focusing solely on al Qaeda rather than the Taliban-led insurgent coalition. This strategy has failed, allowing the Taliban to regroup and rearm.
It’s time for a more robust strategy to defeat the Taliban, even though doing so will be protracted, expensive and grueling. Our warriors and our Afghan allies can prevail, especially since the Taliban remains extremely unpopular, and most Afghans want to see the U.S. succeed. When we do, it will send a powerful message to America’s friends and enemies alike.
Every war ends in a different fashion. The war in Afghanistan, and the greater war against Islamist terrorism, won’t end (as World War II did) with a treaty signing on the battleship Missouri. They won’t end (as World War I did) with a treaty signing at Versailles Hall of Mirrors.
But with proper leadership and support for our troops, today’s wars will end, as have so many others, with the United States victorious. This is no time to bet against America’s military.