The Corner

Today’s Question for the President

In last night’s speech you indicated that part of the rationale for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan is that al-Qaeda is under considerable strain and ”we have taken out more than half of al-Qaeda’s leadership.”

In your December 2009 West Point speech, however, you stated that the goal of the surge of troops in Afghanistan was to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Once again, our forces have performed brilliantly and al-Qaeda clearly has been disrupted. But if nearly half of al-Qaeda’s leadership still remains – and has signaled no intent to cease hostilities — how has your stated goal of dismantling and defeating al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan been met?

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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