If, as Obama himself says, we have a “vital national interest” in Afghanistan, then the $30 billion is a reasonable down payment -- especially since that’s a trifling amount beside the $800 billion lawmakers wasted on an ineffective stimulus package and the trillions of dollars the president’s allies in Congress want to throw away on cap-and-trade and nationalized healthcare.
The president also needs to demand more from our NATO allies. Recall that, in the days after Sept. 11, NATO members invoked Article V of their charter, pointing out that the attack on the U.S. mainland was an attack on the entire alliance.
But for years our allies (with the exception of Britain and Canada) have been coming up short on their troop commitments. Most European nations need to deploy more forces to Afghanistan, along with critical enablers such as engineers and explosives experts.
In addition, our allies should remove the limits many have placed on where their forces may be deployed and what they may do. That would give commanders on the ground the ability to determine where combat forces should be deployed. After all, continued micromanaging from national capitals seriously undermines NATO’s effectiveness.
President Obama will need to say and do much more in the days to come. But -- after months of equivocating -- he’s made the first move toward victory. He deserves our support as all Americans work to help the country move toward victory.