Sunday Talk Shows Foretell Unenthused Response to Obama’s Afghanistan Plan


Tomorrow night, President Obama will stand before officers at West Point and deliver to the nation a reportedly “short and serious” speech outlining his strategy for the war in Afghanistan, which is expected to include the addition of 30,000-plus troops, some kind of exit strategy, and new expectations on the cooperation of the Afghani and Pakistani governments. But politicians on the Sunday-morning talk shows yesterday were already bursting with advice, doubt, and skepticism about the as-yet-unknown plan.

Democrat Evan Bayh and Republican Jon Kyl told Fox News Sunday that they wouldn’t support a plan with a set withdrawal date. On CNN’s State of the Union, Democratic congressman David Obey reiterated his emphasis on the monetary burden of continuing the war. Republican senator Richard Lugar wondered about the same thing, asking, “What is the capacity of our country to finance this particular situation?” Independent Bernie Sanders said on ABC’s This Week that it would be “immoral” to continue the war without a way to finance it. And as The Wall Street Journal reports that Obama has “soured” on General Stanley McChrystal’s request to double the size of the Afghan national army, that’s exactly the aspect of the plan that Democratic senator Carl Levin, on CBS’s Face the Nation, emphasized as most important to winning the war. Needless to say, getting Congress onboard with the Afghanistan war plan, whatever it is, will be as easy as getting Congress onboard with … anything.

Lawmakers From Both Parties Raise Concerns Over Afghan War Escalation [HuffPo]
Who will pick up tab for surge? [Politico]
U.S. Cool to Surge in Afghanistan’s Own Force [WSJ]
A Last-Minute Meeting On Afghanistan [Atlantic]
Obama’s Speech on Afghanistan to Envision Exit [NYT]