01 December 2009

Obama Goes Against Dems On Afghanistan

Obama keeps his Afghan promise, but Dems crumble

At West Point tonight, when Barack Obama formally announces he is sending tens of thousands more American troops to Afghanistan, he’ll be doing so against the wishes of an overwhelming majority of the Democratic Party. Sending more troops will fulfill a key Obama campaign pledge, but it will also expose a deep rift in the party — and highlight its habit of dissembling on the war.

But now, with Democrats in charge of the entire U.S. government and George Bush nowhere to be found, Pelosi and others in her party are suddenly very, very worried about U.S. escalation in Afghanistan. “There is serious unrest in our caucus,” the speaker said recently. There is so much unrest that Democrats who show little concern about the tripling of already-large budget deficits say they’re worried about the rising cost of the war.

It is in that atmosphere that Obama makes his West Point speech. He had to make certain promises to get elected. Unlike some of his supporters, he has to remember those promises now that he is in office. So he is sending more troops. But he still can’t tell the truth about so many Democratic pledges to support the war in Afghanistan: They didn’t mean it.

A couple of weeks ago, Kausfiles speculated that all of Obama's agonizing over the Afghanistan troop decision was theater to placate his base before approving the increase.

More here from The Hill: The Big Question: Will Afghan troop funding debate divide Dems?

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