The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From last night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On the record number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this month:

It does, of course, impress us with the urgency of the matter and how it has to be decided. But I want to point out one thing about what Obama said when he talked about the “long years of drift.” There is something truly disgusting about the way he cannot refrain from attacking Bush when he is being defensive about himself. I mean, it is beyond disgraceful here.

He won the election a year ago. He became commander in chief two months later. He announced his own strategy — not the Bush strategy, his strategy — six months ago. And it [the announcement] wasn’t offhanded. It was in a major address with the secretary of defense and the secretary of state standing with him.

And now he is still talking about the drift in the Bush years? What is happening today is not as a result of the drift, so-called, in the Bush years. It is because of the drift in his years. It is because of the flaws in his own strategy, which is what he is now reexamining.

He has every right as commander in chief to reexamine his own strategy, but he ought to be honest, forthright, and courageous enough as the president to simply say: “I’m rethinking the strategy I adopted six months ago” — and not, once again, in a child-like way, attack his predecessor.

On the resignation of foreign service officer and retired Marine captain Matthew Hoh:

In fact, according to The [Washington] Post, Holbrooke tried to recruit him to work on his staff.

And this is a man with principle and courage who has really sacrificed a lot. He has been in Afghanistan and also in Iraq. I can understand why Holbrooke would want someone like that on his team – [a man] with a lot of skepticism.

But if the skepticism is about “why” [of the war in Afghanistan], I’m not sure that that is as mysterious as the “how.” “How” is the really difficult issue. The “why” is rather obvious. It is in the neighborhood with a nuclear Pakistan. If Afghanistan goes, the fight will be in Pakistan. The stakes will be enormous. And Al Qaeda and their allies may get their hands on nukes.

That is a strategic catastrophe. That’s the why.

I think the real question is how, and I’m not sure that or his team have an answer to that yet.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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