National Review / Digital
A Million Steps
Our men trudge endlessly through Afghanistan as politicians vacillate.


Cynics believe that if Mr. Obama is reelected, within a month he will receive a report from the coalition generals that enables him to bring home many more U.S. troops in 2013 and to pull almost all U.S. units out of combat. Our generals would be indignant that domestic politics were postponing military decisions affecting the lives of our troops. Indignation aside, we are drifting. Our fundamental war strategy of partnering has ceased at the district level, where the war will be determined. No general should tolerate the perception that politics are determining life-and-death decisions. Cynicism among our front-line troops lurks only one headline away.

Mr. Romney is a candidate, not the commander-in-chief. It would be sufficient for him to say: “We have ceased partnering with Afghan forces on the front lines. That is a dramatic change — so what has changed about our strategy? What have our troops been ordered by the commander-in-chief to do, and for how long? When I am president, I will order our generals to report their best advice and strategy within a week. They’ve been at it for ten years. I will demand straight answers immediately. A date like 2014 is not magic. The question is, What is gained each successive day as our troops die?”

October 15, 2012    |     Volume LXIV, No. 19

Books, Arts & Manners
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .