Obama has a massive foreign policy problem. It’s called John Kerry. Kerry has been running his own foreign policy mission in Afghanistan, lecturing the locals, and now is back home lecturing the locals.
Kerry has come out against the troop surge requested by General Stanley McChrystal before Obama has made his decision (at least as far as we know):
“I am convinced from my conversations with Gen. Stanley McChrystal that he understands the necessity of conducting a smart counterinsurgency in a limited geographic area,” Kerry said in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. “But I believe his current plan reaches too far, too fast.”
Kerry is undermining a foreign policy formulation which is of critical importance, much as he tried unsuccessfully to undermine the surge in Iraq.
Obama will find no political support from Kerry in the long run, however, because Kerry is preserving his option of flip-flopping later on:
The Massachusetts Democrat said that, despite his concerns, he may eventually support a troop surge.
I want Obama to succeed in Afghanistan, although the delays and dithering of the past months gives me concern that Obama will not make a decisive decision. A Kerryesque half-measure wih caveats and escape hatches is not what we need.
I hope Obama does not follow Kerry’s two-sided approach of doing just enough to say he was for a surge, but leaving himself wiggle room to say he was against it (or vice versa).
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