The Wall Street Journal reports today that the U.S. and allied commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, is pushing as hard as he can to keep U.S. troop strength up in Afghanistan until at least 2014. The problem is, the White House is bound and determined to announce further significant cuts through 2013 as it plays to its anti-war base in the run-up to November’s presidential election. This—as Jamie Fly and Gary Schmitt note in this week’s editorial, “Losing Afghanistan?”—is nothing new.
And indeed, President Obama has been consistent in ignoring the advice of his commanders in the field from the numbers initially committed to “the surge” in 2010 to their early complete withdrawal by September 2012. Coming on top of the decision to make little or no effort to keep needed troops in Iraq, the administration has had a remarkably consistent record of giving the military’s advice short shrift. Now comes this story in the Wall Street Journal. As Yogi might say, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”