The American Newspaper, New York Times writes the strategy that went from a “good war” to the shorthand “Afghan good enough” reflects the president’s coming to terms with what was possible in Afghanistan.
What Mr. Obama meant was that no one in the Situation Room that day, himself included, thought that the United States — after 14 years of war, billions of dollars spent and more than 2,000 American lives lost — would ever transform Afghanistan into a semblance of a democracy able to defend itself.
“The struggle against violence and extremism, will not be finished quickly and it extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Barack Obama said.
“We have traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war, yet here, in the darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon,” he added.
More than any other conflict, Afghanistan shaped Mr. Obama’s thinking on the basic questions of war, peace and the use of military power.
It is where he discovered his affinity for drones, sharpened his belief in the limits of American intervention, battled his generals and hardened his disdain for unreliable foreign leaders.
It reaffirmed his suspicions about sending American troops into foreign conflicts and made him reluctant to use more force in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other war zones.
When Mr. Obama took office in January 2009, he ordered a quick policy review on Afghanistan by a former intelligence analyst, Bruce Riedel.
But even before it was completed, he accepted a Pentagon recommendation to send 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, bringing the total to nearly 70,000 American troops on the ground.
“That is true that we still have several thousand troops in Afghanistan and it is true that is always dangerous and always tough. Occasionally there have been significant causalities associated with that for the most part, this is now an Afghan fight.”
Now, as Mr. Obama prepares to turn the war over to Donald J. Trump, a leader even more skeptical than he is about the value of American engagement in foreign conflicts.
However, the Afghan parliament evaluates Obama’s policy that US did not want to end war and suppress terrorism in Afghanistan.
“The United States did not want to end war and suppress terrorism in Afghanistan. Since Bush administration till Obama’s governance even now for the Trump, this “Mouse and Cat” policy will continue and it is a policy that will not allow the Afghan government collapse, nor the Taliban gain the victory,” said Aref Rahmani, representative of Ghazni in Parliament.
Dawood Kalakani, representative of Kabul also said, “Barack Obama has not had a successful policy and the war did not end in Afghanistan.”
Mr. Obama was a state senator from Illinois in October 2002 when he famously condemned Iraq as a “dumb war.”
But in the same speech he also said, “I don’t oppose all wars.” He was referring to Afghanistan, which he viewed as a just war to hunt down the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.