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Oct 23, 2008

Can the U.S. fight economic crisis and three wars at the same time?

By Alan Stoga

Americans tend to look inward when the economy tanks, and the attitude toward this year’s election is no exception.
According to the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, 53 percent of registered voters rank the economy as the single most important issue affecting their choice for president. The war in Iraq came in a distant third, tied with “honesty in government,” at only 6 percent.
When the choice is between our pocketbooks and a distant war fought by a professional military, it’s not a choice. Pocketbooks come first.
Americans are now more terrified by toxic mortgages than jihadist terrorists. Unfortunately, while we might not want to pay attention to the mess in the Middle East, the Middle East mess wants to pay attention to us.
Despite a decline in violence, the war in Iraq is far from over and most of the surge troops are still there. At the same time, American casualties are rising in Afghanistan—a war that we won a few years ago, but are now losing.
Moreover, top U.S. intelligence and defense officials believe—and will tell the incoming president—that there is a real possibility that Pakistan, the new epicenter of global terrorism, is on a slippery slope toward becoming a failed state.
Security officials are going to recommend that the new president intensify U.S. attacks against the Taliban and their Pashtun allies, and thereby disregard the objections of the democratic government in Islamabad.
It’s a time-honored U.S. strategy: burn the village to save it.
Two facts further complicate all of this for the incoming president, especially if that president is Barack Obama.
First, before the financial crisis, opposition to the war in Iraq was Obama’s signature issue. His core supporters are tired of a long war that is on track to cost $2 trillion. They will push Obama to declare victory and bring the troops home, not send them to Afghanistan.
Second, the new president will have to cope with Gen. David Petraeus, who takes control of the Army’s Central Command (encompassing the whole Middle East) on Halloween. Gen. Petraeus is probably the most political general since Douglas McArthur, and he will undoubtedly push for more troops in more places for longer periods of time. Like Harry Truman half a century ago, a President Obama might end up having to remind Gen. Petraeus who is commander in chief.
But the new president’s bigger challenge is likely to be that the country can no longer afford guns and butter—especially since the price of butter has gone through the roof.

Take FLYP Media’s poll: Should the new president send additional troops to Afghanistan?

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I guess it appers that no matter what happens over here thier not stoping over there or even show signs of stoping. However pulling out of a never ending war with the most Patient people in the world wont solve anything exepct they win and theirs a large probibilty of nuclear conseqences from an ever oppertunistic enemy.

mark walter
Dec 11, 2009

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