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December 11, 2009

Exploring The Questions? Seeking The Answers!

Derek Shackelford

This nation currently finds itself in two wars, one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. A large part of the discussion has centered on achieving victory. The problem with contemplating strategy appears to be what is victory or what does victory look like.


There is a basic presupposition that reveals how the right answers can be achieved if the right questions are not asked. Last week Presidential Barack Obama attempted to provide answers to the situation in Afghanistan. His answers included sending an additional 30,000 troops. This caught some by surprise.


There are certain observers who believe that drawing down troops and leaving Afghanistan would have been the most appropriate response. While others have concluded that the job should be completed with all the resources necessary to achieve the mission.


The truth of the matter is that President Obama can’t win for losing. The prevailing notion of the war crowd is the military should have every resource available at its disposal. The United States should not announce a timetable and should remain there until the mission is accomplished. This strategy leaves him in a Catch-22.


The same critics who are espousing his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize should be the ones supporting this particular strategy. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to him based on his stance for a commitment to peace in the world. Now it appears that he has made the move toward becoming a war president.


The oppositional voices were most likely disappointed that this war is not drawing to a close. They were hoping to hear a resolution of troop reduction and that the U.S. was leaving the area in a reasonable amount of time.


After all, during the campaign President Obama did declare that he would end the war quickly and bring the troops home. This is what makes people so leery of politicians and their campaign rhetoric and promises. The prevailing notion is that once in office things are different than what they appear. It is always easier to analyze a situation from the outside.


Once in the office of the presidency, President Obama has a somewhat different perspective and view. It is true that this war existed before he came to the office, and the previous administration was responsible for committing to this war. But he is mining and owning the store now. This is his responsibility.


It is certainly easier to shift the responsibility but this will not solve the problem. Expectations are certainly high because lives are at stake and rightfully so.


There are a myriad of issues are before him. Two wars, pending health care legislation, an uncertain economy, and an unstable employment rate. Who would want this responsibility? Raise your hands? It is ironic that critics have voice opposition to a timetable for withdrawal, yet we want instantaneous results when it comes to this nation’s problems.


President Obama has been in office for 11 months and has taken on a rather dubious task with an ambitious agenda to accomplish in a short amount of time. How willing is the American public to give him more time to see how everything shakes out?


There are countless questions that many are asking. Let’s just hope the questions are the right ones so we can come up with the right answers.


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