When President Obama gives his address to the nation tomorrow night on how he plans to go forward in Afghanistan, I want to hear him say that either he is all in or he's folding. I do not want him to say anything that resembles something halfway between the two.
I want to hear the word "Victory" if he's all in.
I want to hear the words "complete withdrawal" if he's folding.
I can understand a rationale for either position, but I will not understand a rational for staying if it is not to achieve victory.
General Douglas MacArthur has been quoted as saying "It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it." And to me, this is a truism that especially applies today because if the President is going to commit more troops as is being rumored, and he is about achieving "Victory", then we are going to take casualties in excess of what we have seen thus far. Like the "Surge" in Iraq, which had the three pronged strategy of Clear, Hold, and Rebuild; the Clearing part is the most costly in human lives.
And it is the clearing part that will make people nevous as the reports of the dead and wounded come in. He will get pressure from people to stop it. And he must ignore that pressure and show resolve.
I don't know if he can do that.
I do not want to hear any variant of the "Biden Strategy". In my opinion Biden is a know-nothing with regards to military operations. I do not want to hear that we are going to implement a counter-terrorist operation; that our soldiers are just there to train Afghans and selectively target al Qaida. We are either going with the full up Counter-Insurgency or we should leave. Completely.
I think we can win in Afghanistan and by that I mean we can deny both Afghanistan and Pakistan as a haven for al Qaida and the Taliban while at the same time making Afghanistan a more stable and freer country. But only if the President is resolved to doing so.
And if he is so resolved, the tomorrow night I want to hear the word Victory.