Obama hasn't ramped up the war in Afghanistan based on a careful calculation of America's strategic objectives. He did it because he was trapped by his own rhetorical game of bashing the Iraq war while pretending to be a hawk on Afghanistan.
At this point, Afghanistan is every bit as much Obama's war as Vietnam was Lyndon Johnson's war. True, President Kennedy was the first to send troops to Vietnam. We had 16,000 troops in Vietnam when JFK was assassinated. Within four years, LBJ had sent 400,000 troops there.
In the entire seven-year course of the Afghanistan war under Bush, from October 2001 to January 2009, 625 American soldiers were killed. In 18 short months, Obama has nearly doubled that number to 1,124 Americans killed.
Republicans used to think seriously about deploying the military. [emphasis added] President Eisenhower sent aid to South Vietnam, but said he could not "conceive of a greater tragedy" for America than getting heavily involved there.
As Michael Steele correctly noted, every great power that's tried to stage an all-out war in Afghanistan has gotten its ass handed to it. Everyone knows it's not worth the trouble and resources to take a nation of rocks and brigands...
But now I hear it is the official policy of the Republican Party to be for all wars, irrespective of our national interest.
It should be said that she argues in the same piece that Iraq was/is a war in our "national interest", a view I do not share. Still, I think she makes an excellent point that the Democrats spent the last decade complaining about a lack of engagement in Afghanistan and are now painted into a corner by their own rhetoric.
We're in an escalating war in Afghanistan without any clear objectives for victory not because we need to be, but because Barack Obama (like nearly every nationally prominent Democrat since the 70's) doesn't want to look like a pussy.