The biggest thing I came away with from the President's Afghanistan policy was the middle of the road approach that is bound to give everyone something to dislike.
1. The Right is going to hate the timeline. Easy to criticize: All the enemy has to do is lay low until 2011. Then, back into action. Also, the Republicans find religion and suddenly this war is too expensive. That wasn't a problem when their team led, naturally.
2. The Left has so much to dislike, ranging from the simple fact of escalation, to the foreshadowing of deeper involvement in Pakistan. In fact, by the end of the speech, I began to conclude that Obama was really preparing the American people for an eventual war in Pakistan. Well, that's what a foreign policy of interventionism will do for you.
As for me, I still don't like the fact that the war was not Constitutionally declared by Congress, and that it represents a near continuous 60+ year stream of wars under the bi-partisan policy of interventionism. I'm war weary already. "All we are saying..."
The reasons and justifications sounded just like the reasons and justifications coming from the Bush White House over the previous seven years. I didn't buy it then, and I don't buy it now. This isn't the 'right war'. The right war would deal with the people behind the 9/11 attacks. The right strategy would involve a whole lot more intelligence, and no occupation of foreign lands. The Obama plan appears to be in line with Bush's pre-emptive war. Rooting out would-be terrorists who might attack us? This made Bush a liar and a dunce, as I recall.
No sir, I don't like it. The speech was lovely. The policy is crap.