Mr Obama wants a clean quick end to the war win Afghanistan…..So, no doubt, do we all.
But he fails to realize that our opponents in this are long term thinkers. They play chess.
Mr Obama, on the other hand, is thinking like a man used to playing checkers. He is, no doubt, a very skilled checkers player. But this sort of decision is not for those without a longer term strategy. To actually announce that 2011 is our goal (albeit with the caveat that we might have to stay longer) telegraphs to his opponent (AlQueda and others) that all they have to do is wait, and the current regime will lose heart and fail to pay attention long enough to win in the interval.
Were I on the opposite side in Afghanistan, I would take the intervening 2 (+/-) years to reorganize, re-equip, and train, saving my strength for the day when the deadline passes…..At which time, Mr Obama will be under the gun to finish things quickly. He will do nearly anything to meet that goal, even to the point of cut and run, and failure….. I would save my men and materiel for the future, and only pursue a strategy of harassment, never committing or allowing my forces to engage for any length of time, nor ever take risks that might lead to any real defeat or damage to my forces.
Our opponents understand that this will be a long war, and grueling one, and now they know that there will be a point at which the “Great Satan” will decide to leave, job finished or not, leaving the people of Afghanistan to their own devices. Thus leaving a void which they can fill at their leisure.
Make no mistake, I am not sure that we can win in such a place. The people and their culture is foreign to our way of living, and even, perhaps to our understanding. It may be that creating a stable democratic style government is impossible with the afghans at this time. It may be that there needs to be 2 countries rather than on Afghanistan…
Whatever the outcome, it is certain that the Bush Administrations failure to find and neuter Osama Bin Laden was indeed, a failure. After that, the war in Afghanistan became, in my opinion, a waste of men and materiel. Having said that, if we do not prune away the vines of evil continuously in areas such as Afghanistan, they will regrow, and strangle the countries and the people in that region, and regain strength and marshall their forces to strike the western wold once again. Bush (W) knew that, and warned the American people that this would be a long war.
Mr Obama told the foes of the US, in Afghanistan, that we would leave in 2 years(more or less) and we have not the strength of will nor the fortitude to continue the fight… He essentially told them how to win.