Afghanistan is voting for president. Unfortunately, the outcome, even if a fair result, is unlikely to matter much. The war will continue.
In 2008 President Barack Obama was seen as the anti-war candidate. In fact, his reputation reflected his prescient opposition to the Iraq war, but he said little to suggest that he was out of sync with Washington's interventionist consensus.
We see his status quo foreign policies with his support for continued NATO expansion as well as maintaining American garrisons around the globe, including in South Korea and Japan. But his escalation in Afghanistan most obviously demonstrates that he is a man of the interventionist left.
He is now making it clear that Afghanistan is his war. Reports Reuters:
President Barack Obama will seek to shore up U.S. public support for the war in Afghanistan on Monday just days before an Afghan presidential election widely seen as a major test of his revamped strategy.
Obama will address a military veterans group in Phoenix at a time when U.S. combat deaths are rising amid a troop buildup against a resurgent Taliban, and polls show a softening of public backing for the eight-year-old war.
Hoping to reassure Americans, Obama is expected to sketch out why he believes the Afghanistan policy he unveiled earlier this year is working and why the United States must remain committed to stabilizing the war-ravaged country.
The political risks for him are enormous. Anything bad that happens in Iraq can be blamed on George W. Bush. But any failure in America's nation-building mission in Afghanistan -- and failure is the most likely outcome in any nation-building in Afghanistan -- will be seen as his responsibility.
And American and other coalition military personnel, as well as the Afghan people, will pay the price.