The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take: History Will Judge Obama ‘Very Severely’ on Afghanistan

History will judge President Obama “very severely” for sending soldiers to war in Afghanistan despite not believing in the mission himself, Charles Krauthammer said tonight on Special Report

[Robert] Gates is telling us from the inside what was utterly obvious from the outside. I remember, on this set, the night of Obama’s speech, December of 2009, when he announced the surge in Afghanistan, it was obvious his heart was never in the mission. He announces the surge and in the next sentence he says we are getting out, and in the speech he says the nation I want to build is America. That was the signal to everybody that he simply wanted to get through on the minimal, with the minimal commitment he could.

What Gates is saying when you send soldiers battle, knowing that some are not going to return, there’s something deeply wrong about doing it if you don’t believe in the mission from the beginning. That, I think — history is going to judge Obama very severely for having done that. As for now, I don’t think he’s going to reduce it to 5,000 before he leaves. I think that’s just a story he’s telling. It will be after the election next year, he will leave the decision to the next president, he wants to hold on so there will be no helicopters lifting off embassy personnel in Kabul the way that happened in Saigon in ‘75. He doesn’t want that embarrassment. I think he’ll hold at 10,000, I think that’s the right policy. And then he’s going to dump it in the lap of the next president.

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