Obama Gives Back-Handed Treatment to Afghanistan and Iraq

by Bing West

The president ducked a bit on foreign policy tonight. He implied that the war in Afghanistan is coming to an end because we are leaving, describing it as “a war that after twelve long years is finally coming to an end.” 

“By the end of this year,” he said, ”America’s longest war will finally be over.”

Our military objective of counterinsurgency as nation building was impossible, and there is no reason for us to stay any longer. But the war will go on.

The president’s statements on terrorism did break new ground: First, Iraq is now treated with a back of the hand alongside Somalia and Mali. Second, we fought two battles to prevent Fallujah from becoming a safe haven; now, there is no more concern about a sanctuary. Instead, there is merely “resolve that terrorists do not launch attacks against our country” . . .

— Bing West is a former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine who has written five books about combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.