Obama's Afghanistan Dilemma: 'Growing Dissent' on More Troops
No more than one year ago, it was widely assumed that the great foreign policy challenge facing the next president would be what to do with U.S. troops in Iraq. The surge had produced a unexpected geopolitical dilemma: was the reduction of violence enough for American forces to leave, or simply affirmation that a sizable U.S. military presence was necessary?
That question, however, has largely been solved -- taken off the political shelf by the signing of a Status of Forces Agreement between the United States and Iraq. And now, somewhat remarkably, the foreign policy issue being hotly debated is one where there was once seemingly wide consensus.
Afghanistan, the so-called 'good war,' was and remains a dangerous theater. During the closing months of the presidential campaign it was taken as gospel that America needed to send more troops there. Even John McCain, initially skittish on the notion, came to argue that a greater U.S. military buildup was needed.
And yet, over the last few weeks, the progressive community that once pleaded for greater resources and attention to Afghanistan has begun to raise concerns about the idea that additional forces could change that country's increasingly dire situation.