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2. The War in Afghanistan
In 2008, Obama managed to parlay his 2003 opposition to the war in Iraq as an Illinois state senator to help propel himself past the rest of the Democratic field, filled as it was with senators who voted for the Iraq War before opposing it. Yet by the time he was a general election candidate, Obama pivoted to a more aggressive stance on Afghanistan, calling it the “good war.” Upon taking office, the president took his time in moving on Afghanistan, eventually approving a troop surge similar to the one ordered by George W. Bush in Iraq. Bush’s surge at least helped make possible a status of forces agreement that saw U.S. troops leave Iraq in 2011 (though not before Obama tried to renege on the agreement). Nevertheless, any hopes that a similar surge might create a comparable opportunity to end the war in Afghanistan have been dashed by now.
Meanwhile, Obama campaigned for re-election on the issue of bringing the war in Afghanistan to a responsible close even as his government negotiated with Afghan officials for the kind of long-term presence Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was pilloried for proposing in 2008. And matters have only gotten worse since the election, with America's military leadership all but announcing that the president’s word on ending the war is worthless and that the U.S. is in Afghanistan to stay. One more thing: U.S. forces returned to Iraq just a few months ago.
Perhaps it's time for Obama supporters to dust off their anti-war signs and hit the streets.
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