Don't fall for Obama's Afghan war revisionism

If a person were to take foreign policy talking heads seriously, he might be left with the impression that Obama was grappling with yet another neocon mess. After five years of running the war, we were acting like it was 2008 and Obama bore absolutely no responsibility for the loss of life and treasure that accompanied his Afghanistan war strategy. A strategy, incidentally, that we’re now pretending was a success.

Obama announced that he plans to end the broad U.S. military commitment in Afghanistan by 2016, leaving only – only – 9,800 American troops on the ground so that, one imagines, they can maintain some order. It’s about time. But whatever your take is, the president’s assertion that we can “achieve the objectives that took us to war in the first place” and can “begin a new chapter in the story of American leadership around the world” is absurd.

The mention of a “new chapter” intimates that the old chapter was thrust upon him. But who exactly was president five years ago? Or three years ago?