Obama Puts Peace Prize to Work With New Afghan War Plan–Exit Strategy Included!

While the American people spent endless nights tossing and turning, worried that President Obama’s “dithering” on Afghanistan would not only invite a second 9/11 but the end of civilization as we know it, Obama and military advisers were working hard to craft a feasible strategy that goes beyond Bush’s brilliant approach to war: “Bring ’em on!”

Speaking to an audience of West Point cadets, President Obama laid out his much-anticipated plan for Afghanistan, including a 30,000-troop surge and new strategy that incorporates civilian engagement, partnering with Pakistan, diplomacy, international cooperation, and much to the horror of Republicans, a timetable for withdrawal (gasp!).

After acknowledging that “Afghanistan has deteriorated,” Obama said that he understood the human cost of war, and took seriously “asking even more of you.” He emphasized the existential threat to America that the region poses, saying, “In the last few months alone we have apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit new acts of terror.”

The president also rebutted three arguments against his plan: First, to “those that suggest Afghanistan is another Vietnam,” he argued that the current mission has international support and began due to an attack on American soil. Second, to those who would argue to maintain the status quo, he cited “slow deterioration” as the inevitable outcome. (Think of it like John McCain’s presidential campaign).

Finally, to those who propose an even heavier troop increase—like war-loving definition of manhood Gen. Stanley McChrystal and the rest of those career military types who’ve dedicated their entire lives to blowing sh*t up on behalf of the mighty red, white, and blue—the president argues against any plan that would “commit us to a nation building project of up to a decade.”

“As president, I refuse to set goals that go beyond our responsibilities, our means, or our interests.”

Obama acknowledged that the decision to set an exit strategy was a controversial one (since apparently no one likes to end a war), but said that setting a time-line for troop withdrawal was the best way to motivate the Afghan government to step up.

“After 18 months of an increased U.S. military presence in their country, American troops will begin to leave Afghanistan starting in July 2011,” nearly a decade after Bush invaded this rough and hostile terrain only to lose bin Laden and start a new, funner war with sweet oil bonuses and a chance to avenge his daddy’s assassination attempt too!

Of course, the real surprise of this joyous “Night of Our New Afghanistan Policy” wasn’t Obama’s proposal for Afghanistan or the War on Terror in general, but Republicans’ horrified reaction to setting an “artificial” deadline for withdrawing troops.

John McCain, for one, is terribly upset about all this “end of war” business.

“The way that you win wars is to break the enemy’s will, not to announce dates that you are leaving,” McCain told reporters.

You see, Gramps McCain knows a thing or two about war, like getting captured by the enemy while fighting in it. And much like the entire Republican Party, he’s also NEVER met a war he didn’t like, or for that matter, a war worth ending. Ever.

Which is why America should be thrilled and excited to know that the leading Republican voice on the president’s strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan still uses terminology like “win wars” to to describe the complex and delicate role of the United States in solving the Afghan riddle that’s confounded every nation that’s tried in the last 100 years or so.

Yes, McCain should be a very effective and skilled negotiator during the next, oh let’s say, three-decades long war (keep your fingers crossed!) which he loves and totally understands.

But in the case that his age or dementia becomes a factor, fear not my friends, because there’s another foreign policy expert/maverick ready to carry the torch.

That is, if she ever figures out how to light the darn thing.

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