Obama: The Mark of Inexperience

No doubt Senator Obama was stung by Hillary Clinton's charge of naïveté and knows that his lack of executive and foreign policy experience could be a drawback to his presidential ambitions, even within his own party. Admittedly his Democratic Party has a significant core that puts little or no emphasis on those qualities, but that core may not be enough even to get him the Democratic nomination. As a result, it seems that Senator Obama has suited up and is letting out some, if not war cries, perhaps war squeaks.

As
AP reported,  

"Obama said that as commander in chief he would remove troops from Iraq and putting them "on the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan." He said he would send at least two more brigades to Afghanistan and increase nonmilitary aid to the country by $1 billion."
One would be ill-advised to expect any MSM reporter to ask the Senator the obvious, or what should be obvious questions: if we significantly pull our troops out of Iraq and relocate some of them to Afghanistan, isn't it likely that some of the folks we are fighting in Iraq, most notably Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), will adapt to that, and we will face stiffer opposition in Afghanistan, with perhaps thousands of jihadist foreign fighters flowing there? The former Soviet Union fought a nine-plus year war in Afghanistan, suffering 15,000 troops killed before their forces withdrew in defeat. Our experience in Afghanistan has been remarkably different. In over six years of fighting in Afghanistan, as of July 17, coalition KIA numbered 563, of which 345 were American. That comprises hundreds of heartbreaking tragedies for individuals and families, but is less than 4% of the KIA the Soviets experienced. Even given that we have been there about two thirds of the time period the Soviets were, the rate at which we have suffered KIA is less than 6% of the Soviet experience.

One great indicator of inexperience in many fields is the inability to understand or even imagine that if one changes one aspect of the status quo in a process, other aspects will change in response to that change. It is why, for example, liberals were surprised in the 1990s when they championed the ‘luxury' excise tax on yachts to raise more revenue to offset the deficit, only to find that after the tax went into effect, tax receipts on yacht purchases fell - because far fewer people bought said yachts when the higher tax raised the cost. Price elasticity is not cutting edge economics, but yet the drop in demand came as a shock to those who were planning on spending the extra revenue.

Obama's two brigades might well increase our relative capabilities in Afghanistan if the other side doesn't respond in kind (and more). But does the Senator think that a drawdown in Iraq won't channel dedicated fighters to the enlarged front to the east?

Almost a year ago an AQI tape supposedly made by al-Zarqawi's successor, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, claimed that over 4,000 foreign fighters had been ‘martyred' in Iraq. If we had not been in Iraq, would these foreign fighters all have stayed home, or would Afghanistan have become the ‘single most important battlefield' and not one of the ‘two most important battlefields'?

Ayman al-Zawahiri, said  in a speech , "Realities of the Conflict Between Islam and Unbelief," released by as-Sahab Media, December 2006
"I repeat what I mentioned previously: the backing of the Jihad in Afghanistan and Iraq today is to back the most important battlefields in which the Crusade against Islam and Muslims is in progress. And the defeat of the Crusaders there -- soon, Allah permitting -- will have a far-reaching effect on the future of the Muslim Ummah, Allah willing." [emphasis added]
If we withdraw substantially from Iraq before AQI is dismembered and the flow of foreign fighters choked or eliminated, and AQI and the jihad focus more intently on Afghanistan, meaning an ‘escalation' (that word Democrats like to bandy about) there, would a President Obama be willing to commit any more troops than his two brigades to that conflict as it grows progressively bloodier? How would he react to many more American and coalition KIA? There is another word Democrats like to bandy about: "quagmire.'

Perhaps ironically, Senator Obama seemed to grasp a part of the equation but doesn't have the experience to follow through on what it means. He said:

 "It is my assessment that those risks are even greater if we continue to occupy Iraq and serve as a magnet for...terrorist activity..."
Well, if our continued occupation of Iraq serves as a magnet, if we withdraw from Iraq, wouldn't our occupation of Afghanistan serve as an alternative magnet? If not, why not, Senator?
No doubt Senator Obama was stung by Hillary Clinton's charge of naïveté and knows that his lack of executive and foreign policy experience could be a drawback to his presidential ambitions, even within his own party. Admittedly his Democratic Party has a significant core that puts little or no emphasis on those qualities, but that core may not be enough even to get him the Democratic nomination. As a result, it seems that Senator Obama has suited up and is letting out some, if not war cries, perhaps war squeaks.

As
AP reported,  

"Obama said that as commander in chief he would remove troops from Iraq and putting them "on the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan." He said he would send at least two more brigades to Afghanistan and increase nonmilitary aid to the country by $1 billion."
One would be ill-advised to expect any MSM reporter to ask the Senator the obvious, or what should be obvious questions: if we significantly pull our troops out of Iraq and relocate some of them to Afghanistan, isn't it likely that some of the folks we are fighting in Iraq, most notably Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), will adapt to that, and we will face stiffer opposition in Afghanistan, with perhaps thousands of jihadist foreign fighters flowing there? The former Soviet Union fought a nine-plus year war in Afghanistan, suffering 15,000 troops killed before their forces withdrew in defeat. Our experience in Afghanistan has been remarkably different. In over six years of fighting in Afghanistan, as of July 17, coalition KIA numbered 563, of which 345 were American. That comprises hundreds of heartbreaking tragedies for individuals and families, but is less than 4% of the KIA the Soviets experienced. Even given that we have been there about two thirds of the time period the Soviets were, the rate at which we have suffered KIA is less than 6% of the Soviet experience.

One great indicator of inexperience in many fields is the inability to understand or even imagine that if one changes one aspect of the status quo in a process, other aspects will change in response to that change. It is why, for example, liberals were surprised in the 1990s when they championed the ‘luxury' excise tax on yachts to raise more revenue to offset the deficit, only to find that after the tax went into effect, tax receipts on yacht purchases fell - because far fewer people bought said yachts when the higher tax raised the cost. Price elasticity is not cutting edge economics, but yet the drop in demand came as a shock to those who were planning on spending the extra revenue.

Obama's two brigades might well increase our relative capabilities in Afghanistan if the other side doesn't respond in kind (and more). But does the Senator think that a drawdown in Iraq won't channel dedicated fighters to the enlarged front to the east?

Almost a year ago an AQI tape supposedly made by al-Zarqawi's successor, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, claimed that over 4,000 foreign fighters had been ‘martyred' in Iraq. If we had not been in Iraq, would these foreign fighters all have stayed home, or would Afghanistan have become the ‘single most important battlefield' and not one of the ‘two most important battlefields'?

Ayman al-Zawahiri, said  in a speech , "Realities of the Conflict Between Islam and Unbelief," released by as-Sahab Media, December 2006
"I repeat what I mentioned previously: the backing of the Jihad in Afghanistan and Iraq today is to back the most important battlefields in which the Crusade against Islam and Muslims is in progress. And the defeat of the Crusaders there -- soon, Allah permitting -- will have a far-reaching effect on the future of the Muslim Ummah, Allah willing." [emphasis added]
If we withdraw substantially from Iraq before AQI is dismembered and the flow of foreign fighters choked or eliminated, and AQI and the jihad focus more intently on Afghanistan, meaning an ‘escalation' (that word Democrats like to bandy about) there, would a President Obama be willing to commit any more troops than his two brigades to that conflict as it grows progressively bloodier? How would he react to many more American and coalition KIA? There is another word Democrats like to bandy about: "quagmire.'

Perhaps ironically, Senator Obama seemed to grasp a part of the equation but doesn't have the experience to follow through on what it means. He said:

 "It is my assessment that those risks are even greater if we continue to occupy Iraq and serve as a magnet for...terrorist activity..."
Well, if our continued occupation of Iraq serves as a magnet, if we withdraw from Iraq, wouldn't our occupation of Afghanistan serve as an alternative magnet? If not, why not, Senator?