President Barack Obama has given his vow to the American people that he “intends to finish the job.” Unfortunately, the decision as to whether a job in Afghanistan can be “finished” or left “incomplete” does not rest with the president of the United States but with other forces within that nation. Sending another 30,000 or 40,000 troops will not lead to success anymore than dispatching 100,000 additional soldiers. In the end, the process of “finishing the job,” whatever that means, rests in the hands of the government of Afghanistan and its people. During the 1940s many critics charged the Truman administration with “losing China to communism,” but, of course, China was never ours to lose or win. Statements about “finishing the job” make a good bit for the late night news, but are utterly useless in reality.
The ultimate end for Afghanistan is for its people and government to decide what they wish. Afghanistan is not ours and we certainly can’t finish any jobs in that country.