Obama should be wary of military advice on Afghanistan

BY ANDRU WALL

In the coming days President Obama will answer this critical question: what is the US strategy in Afghanistan? As he weights the options, burdened by eight years of strategic blunders, no shortage of advice is being offered by his national security team and the Washington chattering class. If you listen closely, you’ll recognize two familiar refrains: the military can win this war if only it is given the necessary resources, or, alternatively, the struggle for freedom in Afghanistan is not (or should not be) a predominately military struggle.

This debate, which closely parallels debates over Vietnam, appropriately arouses passions on both sides. What is not helpful are contentions that one position is more patriotic or “pro-military” than the other. Rubber-stamping General McChrystal’s request for more troops does not prove the President’s commitment to national defense any more than supplying unlimited

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