After a Year in Office, Biden Says Afghan War Policy Still Developing

-By Warner Todd Huston

Vice President Joe Biden wants everyone to just calm down. He says that it’s “much too premature” to judge the Obama administration’s efforts in Afghanistan. Apparently, after a year of focusing on “the right war,” America is still waiting for the Obama administration to “develop” its policies there.

But one thing seems sure, the Obama administration has already excluded the possibility that more troops will be sent if Biden’s comments can be believed. When asked if the additional 30,000 troops are successful, will the administration send even more after them, Biden did not hesitate to say, “I do not believe so.”

So, success seems to be right off the table. After a year of the administration’s flaccid talk about our efforts in Afghanistan, after a decision to send fewer troops than generals have requested, and after a year of “developing” policy, the one thing that might be successful — more troops — has been preemptively taken off the table before anyone even knows if the first deployment will work.

Former presidential adviser Karl Rove has also noticed the fecklessness of Obama’s Afghan war policies. Rove made a particularly pointed comment in a recent Wall Street Journal article about the Afghan war press conference held between Britain’s new Prime Minister David Cameron and the president. Rove noted that, “neither leader uttered the word ‘victory’ or ‘win’ or any other similar phrase.”

As Rove observed, neither the American nor the British people have the slightest idea what the objective is with Obama’s Afghan war policy. Is it to defeat al Qaeda? Is it to defeat the Taliban? Is there any intentions to defeat anything, win the war, or make Afghanistan safe for average Afghanis? What are Obama’s goals in Afghanistan?

And what of the enemy? It’s easy to see that if they hunker down long enough, Obama will tire of “developing” his war policy and will soon enough bring all US troops home. After all, the enemy is being told by the administration itself that more troops won’t come so they won’t have to worry about that. And that is not to mention the fact that Obama has already set a timetable for withdraw before he’s even seen whether or not the 30,000 troop increase he already made is successful. All they have to do is bide their time and they will win by default.

Following the administration’s prosaic playbook, Biden tried to beg off getting too specific on the Afghan war by blaming Bush. “There’s a war that was neglected for basically eight years, six years at least,” the vp said. True or not, we most certainly have not seen this administration being any more proactive and precise in its Afghan war policies than what Biden claims the last one did.

So, just what are we doing? Does anyone know? Or is it still “much too premature” to say?
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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