Despite his antagonism toward the war in Iraq, you can't say that Candidate Barack Obama didn't warn you that he was a hawk. Indeed, at various points he endorsed (often retroactively) interventions all over the world for all sorts of reasons.

And now come the reinforcements to Afghanistan, where the U.S. commander there is figuring the 17,000 new troops heading into battle will be there for "next three to four to five years."

The top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David D. McKiernan, said Wednesday that the heightened troop levels that President Obama ordered for Afghanistan could remain in place for as long as five years.

General McKiernan, who spoke at a news conference at the Pentagon a day after Mr. Obama ordered 17,000 additional troops to the country, said that the buildup "is not a temporary force uplift" and that it was essential to break what he called a stalemate in southern Afghanistan, the epicenter of the Taliban-led insurgency.

He said that he could not determine exactly how long the troops would be there, but that the buildup would "need to be sustained for some period of time," and that he was looking at "the next three to four or five years."

Whole story here.

Note to the crazy cockeyed optimists who figured anybody would be better than George W. Bush: As the last month or so shows, things can always get worse! It's one of the great things about America, or at least the country's politicians.