There has been a great deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth in the media over the content of the President’s speech on troop withdrawals. We commented on the details in an earlier posting. But while the vast majority of the reporting has been about the number of troops and the timing of their return; there were some additional points in his message that we feel are of more importance.
The first is very subjective. We don’t believe that the President was buying what he was selling. For the first time since the start of his term in office the President gave a major policy address where he seemed detached from his message. Clearly missing was the emotional fire he has used so often to rally the troops. It seemed to us that the President knew that his message would not fly. He knew that that a clear victory in Afghanistan was not in the cards. He knew that if the best trained fighting force in the world could not bring safety and stability after ten years of fighting, there was little hope for a novice, barely trained Afghan security force. He knew that while he wanted to listen to the people and bring the troops home, he had to listen to the generals to avoid a loss on his watch. He knew that splitting the difference was the best he could do…and he knew it wasn’t good enough.
Then he said something that was very specific and to us very disturbing.
He referred to America’s “responsibility as the anchor of global security” and “our singular role in the course of human events”.
We can no longer afford to be the “anchor of global security”. We can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman. We can no longer afford to borrow money from the nations of Europe and the Far East only to spend that money providing for their military defense while they plow their savings into schools, hospitals, roads and bridges.
This is not 1945. We are no longer the “Greatest Generation“that saved the world. We can barely support ourselves. This dilusional sense of self importance and self indulgence has led us to the brink of an economic disaster.
It is time for Americans, and their President, to stop living in the past and take a realistic look at the future.