On Obama's Afghan Escalation: 'Stop Digging'

Craig Brown

Former Maine Democratic congressman Tom Andrews (Disclosure: I was his Chief of Staff when he served in Congress), now the chair of Win Without War, put out this statement this afternoon:

U.S. policy in Afghanistan has failed, as numerous reports point to
security conditions that have gone from bad to worse. That is why we
applaud the president's decision to conduct a fundamental review of
U.S. policy in Afghanistan. But it is also why we are concerned that
the deployment of additional combat troops is being announced at the
outset of the review process and not at its conclusion.

The risks are significant--particularly in light of the warnings
of several analysts that the presence of foreign soldiers fighting a
war in Afghanistan is probably the single most important driving force
in the resurgence of the Taliban. Reducing our military footprint
could, therefore, be one of the most effective measures that can be
taken to weaken the armed opposition.

We hope that the president will soon provide the nation with a
comprehensive plan for Afghanistan and the region that is fundamentally
different from the approach which led us to where we find ourselves now.

The first principle for someone who finds himself in a hole is to
stop digging. The US policy 'hole' in Afghanistan is not of the new
administration's making. But it is important for the president to
consider if adding new U.S. combat forces in Afghanistan, without a new
and comprehensive plan for U.S. policy there, might be digging an even
bigger hole.

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