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Grasping the Afghan Nettle

  • Date Submitted: 12/14/2011 12:48 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 33.3 
  • Words: 1834
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Obama is indeed a miracle man. Getting elected as America’s first-ever black president was in itself a miracle, and then becoming a Nobel peace laureate as head of state of a superpower that is tirelessly fighting wars since after the Second World War was even a bigger miracle. His choice as the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was a huge “surprise” even for Obama himself.   But he had no qualm in collecting it.Now that Obama has got rid of Osama, the people in the United States, and indeed the world over, expect him to end thedecade-old Afghan war and give them peace. It is time Obama, the miracle man, rose up to the honour that the Nobel Committee had bestowed upon him for doing nothing. In any case, Osama bin Laden was why the United States went to war in Afghanistan, and now that Osama is officially declared dead, Obama is left with no reason or rationale to continue this long and wrong war.There is already growing public as well as congressional pressure for Obama to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Osama’s death comes when Obama was already considering the size and speed of his promised troop drawdown in the increasingly unpopular and costly conflict. It now remains to be seen whether Osama’s killing will bring any drastic change in Obama’s calculations for an exit strategy.
With his eyes on next year’s presidential election for a second term, Obama, no doubt, has been in a fix on the pullout issue and Osama’s killing now seems to have given him greater credibility on the issue and perhaps also more space for political maneuvering. It may have provided increased momentum for the war in Afghanistan but Obama would rather capitalize on the event to shrink the US footprint and expense in Afghanistan.
Political thinking in Washington right now is focused on the need for turning the page over from Afghanistan. Senior officials of the administration are already engaged in discussions and strategy sessions about how to leverage the death into a spark...


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