Saturday, November 14, 2009

Is the Afghanistan War Part of Obama's Stimulus Program?

Is the Afghanistan War Part of Obama's Stimulus Program?
By Jerome Grossman

For eight long months President Obama has been wrestling with the request of his commanding general in Afghanistan for at least 40,000 more American troops to reinforce the 68,000 already there alongside the 50,000 NATO soldiers. Virtually the entire foreign-policy establishment has been tied up in a series of eight long meetings on Afghanistan; papers have been researched, written, and discussed in excruciating detail.

As the nation awaits the president's decision, it seems clear that the enormous investment of time and study presages much more than a decision on the number of troops. The president must offer a game-changing strategy: either the application of irresistible force for victory within a reasonable time or a prompt exit strategy. The irresistible force might be assembled quickly by transferring U.S. forces now in Iraq to Afghanistan. The exit might be blamed on the corruption, ineffectiveness and drug dealing of the hopeless Karzai government.

Why has it taken Obama so long to decide? We should keep in mind that the Afghan war is not his prime problem. His administration will succeed or fail primarily on the economic situation in the nation, the level of jobs and business activity. Is there a relationship between the economy and Afghanistan? Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave a clue on November 12 as he commented on the president's many meetings on Afghanistan. Mr. Gates was talking to reporters on his plane en route to a Wisconsin factory that is churning out thousands of armored trucks for use by American troops in Afghanistan. Mr. Gates was in Wisconsin to visit the Oshkosh Corp. which is making 6000 trucks to help protect troops from improvised explosive devices (IED), which account for the vast majority of American and NATO casualties in Afghanistan. “Obviously, if the president makes the decision to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan", Mr. Gates said, "We would look at this in terms of whether we needed to buy more".

Is the war in Afghanistan indirectly part of the Obama stimulus plan to increase economic activity and employment? An exit from Afghanistan and the planned withdrawal from Iraq would mean wholesale cancellations of military contracts, expenditures that the Congress supports and welcomes. Such cutbacks would exacerbate the difficult business and employment situation. Will this be a factor in the Obama's decision? As a student of American history, he knows that FDR finally overcame the Great Depression with an armament program beginning in 1938-39 that stimulated the economy and put millions of workers back on the payroll. Will that be a factor in Obama’s decision about continuing the wars in Southern Asia?


an average patriot said...

I discussed it a couple months ago but he could and a million troops and it would only make the Taliban happy! He better start the long withdrawal unless Afghanistan is to be the main driver of our economy into the future and it would be. I still believe we must get out and now or join the graveyard of Nations.

You know, under Bush when the economy first started going south I said he did it on purpose and he did with Greenspan but I said it was to drive people into the military to fight his forever war.

Recruitment is now beyond 100% and military, defense jobs, and the Government are the only places doing well. Stimulus program? You bet!

todddd1 said...

This argument is pretty thin gruel to support such a enormous blunder if he adds more 40,000 more G.I. targets to be shot at in Afghanistan.
If done, that will enable the entire Right and Center to assert that we cannot leave then since it will dishonor the death of the next 5,000 KIA soldiers and THE NEXT 25,000 WOUNDED and amount to another Munich appeasement.

Dr Doc dlcs said...

when you start a war, you finish the war. George Bush will some day go down in history as the GREATEST president ever. Barack Hussein Obama was ask to provide troops. Barack Hussein Obama did not answer the call. He should send back up. Our troops need help and Barack Hussein Obama turned his back on them. George Bush would have never done this to our troops. Never!
Dr Doc dlcs


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