Afghanistan: London Pushes U.S. Into New Vietnam: Is Obama Paralyzed?

By Ramtanu Maitra, Countercurrents

U.S. President Barack Obama is under massive pressure from the American population not only on his two domestic issues—the health-care reform and the cap-and-trade bill—but also on the increasingly dangerous Afghan War. On the Afghan War front, London has become more and more outspoken, advising the U.S. President to commit more troops, using arguments heard over and over again during the failed Vietnam War, which lasted about ten years and took over 58,000 American lives, and more than 1 million Vietnamese.
Weakened by his own follies, such as pushing a domestic agenda demanded by imperial financial circles, President Obama has already made himself vulnerable to the British drive for war. On Aug. 17, just before he headed off on vacation, Obama addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) convention in Phoenix, Ariz., and referred to the ongoing war in Afghanistan. He said, echoing the former Administration on the Iraq War: “We must never forget: This is not a war of choice. . . .This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again” (emphasis added).

He staunchly defended his “new” war strategy for Afghanistan, saying American troops have adopted new tactics that include protecting the Afghan people and improving their lives. “The insurgency in Afghanistan didn’t just happen overnight. And we won’t defeat it overnight. This will not be quick. This will not be easy,” Obama warned the VFW.

Emphasizing the importance of the Afghan War, he said: “This is not only a war worth fighting,” but, “this is fundamental to the defense of our people.” Referring to his “new, comprehensive strategy,” unveiled last March, he said: “This strategy acknowledges that military power alone will not win this war—that we also need diplomacy and development and good governance. And our new strategy has a clear mission and defined goals: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda and its extremist allies.”

Britain Endorses McChrystal Strategy

Subsequently, the U.S. and NATO Commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, submitted his assessment of the Afghan situation, and the figures of American casualties in the month of August were posted. In this almost eight-year-long war, the U.S. lost the most soldiers in Afghanistan in August, followed by July and June. Already, in 2009, more U.S. soldiers were killed there, than in all of 2008, which was itself a very bad year.


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