Background: President Obama is dangling “hope” before the American people, luring voters with the lives of their sons and daughters as ransom by promising to bring home 350,000 troops just before Election Day 2012.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said his nation's youth will stand up and defend Afghanistan from the Taliban as the U.S. pulls its troops out. Already, the Afghan government is supporting education for girls and women, health care training, and developing a nationalist army that wants its country free from the Islamofascist Taliban.
The Taliban invaded Afghanistan from Pakistan, which is doing little to fight them from their end. Once freed from duty in Iraq, our entire regular military forces and the Afghan Army should fully engage the Taliban, rout them once-and-for-all, and get out. Who flee to Pakistan are that country’s problem.
I believe our strategy should be to provide our own Middle Eastern bases, and our allies’, with full-time massive professional retaliatory power: the Cold War in a hot place. It’ll send the same message to foes of emerging democracy in the Mid-East as it did to the USSR: I’m not gonna hit ya? I’m not gonna hit ya? I’m not gonna hit ya. That’ll provide fragile democracies major leverage.
Leaving a "big stick" regular army military presence at bases in Iraq, among others, will assure immediate, emphatic response to incursions and terrorism there, and to stand ready to meet Iran’s burgeoning nuclear threat unilaterally, if necessary.
“Iran is capable of producing even longer range missiles than the ones it has but won't make them because Israel and U.S. bases are already within its reach,” said Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Iranian Guard's Aerospace Force. Are they looking for a fight? Believe it.
So, how about we demand a Military Hiring Stimulus Package, increasing our national security and creating real jobs by hiring and training members of our regular armed forces. We must bring our troops to full combat-ready strength to preempt attacks against our population in the War on Terrorism and to give instant, overwhelming support to our allies if needed.
Thus, when we fight future politically motivated pocket wars, at least the current president can pretend to care for the lives of American troops, while rationalizing to himself that they signed up to be at risk 24/7 if necessary and console grieving families with his usual teleprompter sincerity.
David Millson writes about international and political issues in New Haven, Vt.