3.27.2009

Brooks in Afghanistan

A column with some useful insights.

Note the piece's loaded dateline.

Brooks, despite his history-infused skepticism, says this:

After the trauma in Iraq, it would have been easy for the U.S. to withdraw into exhaustion and realism. Instead, President Obama is doubling down on the very principles that some dismiss as neocon fantasy: the idea that this nation has the capacity to use military and civilian power to promote democracy, nurture civil society and rebuild failed states.

Foreign policy experts can promote one doctrine or another, but this energetic and ambitious response — amid economic crisis and war weariness — says something profound about America’s DNA.


My question: Is this faith in Obama's choice due to the now-more-encouraging example of Iraq having played out?  Or simply the fact that he is not George W. Bush?  In other words, if Iraq had not gone well in the end, would we still be in Afghanistan at Obama's urging?

It's all speculation, of course, but I found it worth pondering, especially since I have two former roommates heading to Afghanistan shortly.