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Obama's Plan Makes Us Less Safe?

1:50 PM, Mar 31, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Joe Klein writes in a post titled "Terror's Next Wave":

Our enemies may have increased motivation now that President Obama has focused on the Taliban safe havens in Northwest Pakistan, and has also decided to put increased pressure on Pakistan--especially its Army and intelligence services--to stop aiding the terrorists. Obama's low-key reasonableness has the extremists on the defensive and more likely to try to change the conversation with new attacks.

Who would've thought that "low-key reasonableness" could be so dangerous? This would mean that we will know how well Obama's strategy is working by how many shopping malls al Qaeda blows up here in the United States. Quite a metric for success -- or is that a benchmark? In fact, there is quite a lot of optimism about Obama's plan for Afghanistan, but mostly because observers think it will reduce the threat from al Qaeda by progressively chipping away at the group's safe-haven.

The last administration would often make the case that increased violence was a sign of success in Iraq, a claim that was met with derision. Except in Iraq, increased violence -- or at least increased U.S. casualties -- naturally followed from increased contact with the enemy. Never during the Bush administration did anyone claim that another terror attack on the United States would be a sign of progress. The point of the Bush administration's war on terror policies was to prevent precisely that. And whatever one's views of those policies, they achieved the desired result.