Very presidential. There’s no doubt this president can give an eloquent speech. That’s not in question, especially if you watched his speech on Afghanistan from West Point tonight.
The question is, will an extra 30,000 troops help us accomplish our goals in Afghanistan? And second, what are those goals? I would’ve liked to have heard more on the latter from the president.
Still, it showed wisdom when he spoke almost as much about Pakistan as Afghanistan. Our maneuvers in Afghanistan, rooting out the Taliban, turning weaker, less-committed Taliban to our side (or to the side of the Afghanistan government) and helping the Afghan troops and security forces stand up on their own, are all important. But so is working closer with Pakistan. I noticed Obama spoke about our relationship with Pakistan, which he said should be based on mutual respect and mutual trust. That has not been the case. It remains to be seen if we can trust Pakistan to work together with us and our increased troops, when Pakistan has implicitly harbored terrorists in their midst, or in the very least, done little about them.
These indeed are perilous times.