Mission Creep in Afghanistan

It’s now official. President Obama’s plans for expanding the war in Afghanistan: 4,000 more troops, in addition to the 17,000 he sent earlier.

Their goal? At the White House on Friday, Obama spelled it out: “To disrupt, dismantle and destroy al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

But here’s what I don’t understand: If the goal is to destroy al Qaeda in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, does that mean Obama’s also sending American troops to Pakistan?

If he is, shouldn’t the president so inform the American people?

If not, how are we going to destroy al Qaeda in Pakistan without sending our own troops? Are we counting on the Pakistani government to do it for us? The same government that has done absolutely nothing so far — indeed, has looked the other way while al Qaeda regrouped and took over the Pakistan-Afghanistan border areas?

And if, indeed, we can destroy al Qaeda in Pakistan without American troops, why are we sending troops to Afghanistan?

It just doesn’t add up. The whole mess looks like a bad case of mission creep.

Let’s face it. We are no longer fighting just the war in Afghanistan. We are now fighting the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


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