Time to Leave

December 03, 2009

by Christopher A. Preble

With his latest escalation, President Obama will more than double the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan compared with when he took office. The president is saying, in effect, that a large-scale counterinsurgency campaign there is necessary to keep Americans safe from terrorism.

This is a dubious proposition at best. As Obama's national security adviser, Gen. James Jones, noted in October, "The al-Qaeda presence (in Afghanistan) is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies." We don't need 100,000 soldiers in Afghanistan chasing down 100 al-Qaeda fighters.

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This article was published in the USA Today, December 2, 2009, and is available online here.

Christopher A. Preble is the director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, and a founding member of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy. His most recent book is The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous and Less Free.

Posted by coalition at December 3, 2009 09:09 AM

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