One of the characteristics of American foreign policy since 2001 has been to adhere to the Bush approach even while decrying Bush efforts in the conduct of foreign policy. Vice President elect, Joe Biden was in Afghanistan promising that more troops would be sent to that area in order to bolster the 64,000 US and coalition forces. He promised as the war in Iraq winds down, additional forces would be redeployed to Afghanistan. It is apparent the Obama administration will not seek to come across as “weak” in the fight against terrorism which it apparently believes is best confronted by more troops. In case, no one mentioned this to Biden, but the Soviet Union had over 120,000 troops in Afghanistan and it finally left the region.
The issue is not “more” but “what are our goals in Afghanistan?” before “more” or “less” is dispatched. Unless one is clear about goals and strategies sending “more troops” might be counter-productive. There is tremendous need for Obama, prior to making military decisions, to identify goals and how best to achieve them. Does anyone in the Obama administration actually know what “victory in Afghanistan” actually means?