Obama announced last week his decision to surge and then exit from Afghanistan. Predictably, it drew fires from all sides of the political parties and the press. No one, including Obama himself, is convinced that his strategy is going to succeed. It has the look and feel of the least bad strategy all over it. What is most painful for me is less about Afghanistan, but it’s a terrible strategy for Obama to fail as the leader of the free world and bearer of audacious hope promised by his campaign and presidency.
My problem with his latest decision, as with the health care reform ordeal, is that his priorities are misplaced. There are no doubt serious issues in both Afghanistan and American health care system. The trouble is that Obama does not have enough political capital to resolve all of them as well as other and, in my opinion, more urgent and sustainable issues. Such other issues include energy and education. Both are long range but job creating initiatives that Obama could have seized on to generate the momentum that he needs to lead this country out of the deep economic recession and into a much more promising and sustainable future. Instead, he chose to spend his political capital on the issues that will further drain the economy and tie his hands of making bold moves else where, at least for the foreseeable future. From here on, everything he does will become a hard struggle of political and economical survival for the nation as well as his administration. It almost sealed his fate as a one-term president and a tragic loss of hope and opportunity for a dangerously floundering human race.