Another week, another 2 U.S. soldiers gunned down by Afghan soldiers.
Imagine if a Republican president assumed office 9 years into a mildly successful war and incurred more casualties under his watch due to an aimless effort fraught with egregious rules of engagement. Wouldn’t you expect there to be a body count every night on the news along with gory pictures of the failing, rudderless war campaign?
Well, we actually have a quite a bit of history concerning media coverage of the Iraq war during President Bush’s tenure. And boy did they cover the setbacks during the Iraq insurgency down to the last detail. Despite the good economic times of 2004-07, the media coverage of the Iraq war almost singlehandedly brought down the Republicans in 2006 and had a lingering effect into the 2008 campaign. Even though Bush finally implemented a successful surge in troops, firepower, and rules of engagement, the media never reported on the success in Iraq until Obama became president and was able to reap the benefits of that policy.
Sadly, no such turnaround is taking place in Afghanistan. Soldiers are dying on the battlefield on a daily basis, even as the administration negotiates with the Taliban. No, wait. They’re no longer dying on the battlefield; they are dying unarmed as some of our best soldiers are shot at point blank range during their social work operations training the Afghani army.
In recent months there has been a torrent of Afghan attacks on American and NATO soldiers. Deaths from those attacks have topped 100, 10 of which occurred this past month. These included some of our best trained special operations soldiers. After years of brave fighting and training, they were gunned down in cold blood with no way of protecting themselves from the ambushes.
While it’s important we keep focusing on domestic issues, conservatives must importune Obama to vouch for his indefensible Afghanistan policy. We can either pull out of Afghanistan or we can define the mission and unswervingly stick to it while placing a premium on the lives of our own men. What we can’t do is remain silent as Obama throws our guys into a meat grinder with no plan for victory. Republicans have criticized Obama for announcing a time table for withdrawal, but what is even more offensive about his policy is what he is doing before the withdrawal.
Obama’s foreign policy has been even more destructive than his domestic policy in some respects. In an attempt to exude an image of a tough leader, he has leaked more critical national security information that any president. He has emboldened the radical Islamic forces in the Middle East by embracing the Muslim Brotherhood, supporting an ill-advised regime change in Libya, and telegraphing the message to the Palestinians that Israel is fair game. He has genuflected before the Russians and the North Koreans to the point that they have no fear of reprisal for their criminal actions. Even as he pursues protectionist trade policies with China, he has failed to stand up to the immoral Chinese government when they present a threat to our national security. And don’t even mention Iran.
As Romney prepares to make his formal acceptance speech, he should consider at least a short indictment of Obama on foreign policy. He has already stepped in the right direction by signaling to Russia that the ‘era of flexibility’ is over. We need to hear a strong cogent message on Afghanistan and how he’ll change the course of failure.
We might be able to win this election solely on domestic issues, but the fact that Obama is leading by double digits on foreign policy should discomfit any sane person.