George W. Bush was elected on a foreign policy line that said America wouldn’t be the world police anymore.
Barack Obama was elected in part for his promises to end America’s overseas adventurism.
Donald Trump promised an “America First” foreign policy.
Now Americans have been fooled three times in a row, at least.
With his recommitment to the effort in Afghanistan, Donald Trump is making the same mistake Barack Obama made.
Pat Buchanan asks at The American Conservative, how can America defeat the Taliban with 13,000 troops when it couldn’t be done with 100,000?
Persuaded by his generals — Mattis at Defense, McMasters on the National Security Council, Kelly as chief of staff — President Trump is sending some 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to augment the 8,500 already there.
Like Presidents Obama and Bush, he does not intend to preside over a U.S. defeat in its longest war. Nor do his generals. Yet how can we defeat the Taliban with 13,000 troops when we failed to do so with the 100,000 Obama sent?
The new troops are to train the Afghan army to take over the war, to continue eradicating the terrorist elements like ISIS, and to prevent Kabul and other cities from falling to a Taliban now dominant in 40 percent of the country.
Yet what did the great general, whom Trump so admires, Douglas MacArthur, say of such a strategy?
“War’s very object is victory, not prolonged indecision.”
Is not “prolonged indecision” what the Trump strategy promises? Is not “prolonged indecision” what the war policies of Obama and Bush produced in the last 17 years?
Understandably, Americans feel they cannot walk away from this war. For there is the certainty as to what will follow when we leave.
When the British left Delhi in 1947, millions of former subjects died during the partition of the territory into Pakistan and India and the mutual slaughter of Muslims and Hindus.
When the French departed Algeria in 1962, the “Harkis” they left behind paid the price of being loyal to the Mother Country.
When we abandoned our allies in South Vietnam, the result was mass murder in the streets, concentration camps and hundreds of thousands of boat people in the South China Sea, a final resting place for many. In Cambodia, it was a holocaust.
Trump, however, was elected to end America’s involvement in Middle East wars. And if he has been persuaded that he simply cannot liquidate these wars — Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan — he will likely end up sacrificing his presidency, trying to rescue the failures of those who worked hardest to keep him out of the White House.
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