Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Americans Support Troop Surge in Afghanistan

A lot of readers wouldn't know it, but I started blogging specifically in response to the despicable antiwar opponents of the Bush administration. Some of the commentary on the left this week is reminiscent, but folks are attacking Bush, not President Obama. Actually, Blue Texan at Firedoglake attacks the entire "Bush-Cheney cabal," so that's an especially good indicator of the derangement, "Liz Cheney Warns Against “Walking Away” from Afghanistan, Apparently Forgetting that Dick Cheney Walked Away from Afghanistan":

The Bushies’ failure, after 8 years of pissing away American lives and treasure, to competently execute and win that war is so massive, so scandalous, that anyone named Cheney shouldn’t be doing anything else on television but apologizing and begging the American people’s forgiveness.

Worst of all? Hearing Cheney try to jam Obama about the dangers of “walking away” from her father’s mess — after Dick and W. did exactly that when they got the genius idea to launch their epic fail in Iraq.

These criminals have absolutely no shame.
But it's Howie Klein who's really the essence of leftist insanity:

President Obama is days away from announcing the inevitable buckling under to the military-industrial complex and giving the generals more young Americans as cannon fodder for a useless and unwinnable war, that most Americans do not support. So who in Congress really wants to end the war and who's content just leaving it up to the military to do whatever they think is best?
Insane, as well as incorrect.

The trend has been building for months: Recall IBD's survey from October, "
Americans, In Reversal, Now Back Afghan Troop Surge" (at that time, 48 percent supported sending trooop reinforcements). But check out this morning's Gallup poll, "In U.S., More Support for Increasing Troops in Afghanistan":

Americans over the last two weeks have become slightly more likely to favor sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, and slightly less likely to favor a reduction in forces. At this point, 47% of Americans would advise President Obama to increase the number of U.S. troops -- either by the roughly 40,000 recommended by the commanding general in Afghanistan or by a smaller amount -- while 39% would advise Obama to reduce the number of troops. Another 9% would opt to leave troop levels as they are, while 5% have no opinion.
The data still show that Americans are divided on the war, but with a clear and comprehensive plan for success in place -- Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's counterinsurgency strategy -- Americans see greater likelihood of success, and thus the resulting increase in popular support.

This is the trendlline prediction of political science research on the Iraq war, and we're likely to see the same pattern in opinion of Afghanistan. See, Christopher Gelpi, Peter Feaver, and Jason Riefler, "
Success Matters: Casualty Sensitivity and the War in Iraq."

(P.S. What will be most important, over the long term, is how well President Obama will be able to resist the nihilist antiwar forces of the Democratic base. The president's dithering on an Afghan troop buildup lies in large part in his weighing the polling data on a cut-and-run from the deployment. Worried about popular opinion going into next year's midterms, the adminstration thought better of opting for Democratic-leftist defeatism. Like many have said, the war will define this administration, even after the disastrous health care monstrosity passes, in whatever form, into law.)


Dana said...

The latest leak is that the President will send an additional 34,000 troops to Afghanistan. Unfortunately, since the President isn't going to make his official announcement until next week, we've been left with bits and pieces of information, most of it unconfirmed, which leaves me bewildered.

The news this morning was that yes, there would be 34,000 additional troops sent, but that the increase in strength would be very slow, perhaps as much as two years. If this is the case, it's hardly a "surge," but is a slow change that gives the enemy time to adapt.

Without more confirmed details, it's difficult to accept or criticize the new strategy: you wind up going out on a limb, and talking about something with which we have little information. But if the decision has been taken, the President could go ahead and release a written statement in advance of next Tuesday's address.