Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nuanced policy discussions

Last night on NPR, though it's not in the transcript, Davey Brooks said, in an aside, that he was "surprised" that fiscal concerns were playing into the strategy discussions of what's next in Afghanistan. No surprise there. War seems to be the one thing the federal government spends on over which conservatives feel there should be no ceiling.

At a stop at a military base in Alaska on Thursday, President Obama told a gathering of soldiers that he would not risk more lives “unless it is necessary to America’s vital interests.” He added during his visit to Tokyo on Friday that he wanted to avoid taking any step that could be seen as an “open-ended commitment.”

The administration said Friday that it planned to cut up to 5 percent at domestic agencies in fiscal 2011 as part of an effort to reduce the federal budget deficit, which rose to $1.4 trillion with the economic stimulus and financial bailouts.

Several leading Republicans have criticized Mr. Obama’s willingness to spend more freely on domestic programs and urged him to provide General McChrystal with the resources he is seeking in Afghanistan.

“Keeping our country safe: Isn’t that the first job of government?” said Senator Christopher S. Bond, a Republican from Missouri and the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “If we have just a minimalist counterterrorism strategy, the Taliban will come back over the mountains from Pakistan, and they will be followed by their co-conspirators from the Al Qaeda organization.”

The Taliban are already coming "back over the mountains from Pakistan." But that aside, how after eight years of futile war, staying there indefinitely will "keep our country safe," is not mentioned. But nuance isn't the thing for the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.



Anonymous surrey said...

Enough Afghan Debate........

1:07 AM  

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