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Michael Maccoby

Michael Maccoby

Michael Maccoby is an anthropologist and psychoanalyst globally recognized as an expert on leadership. He is the author of The Leaders We Need, And What Makes Us Follow.

Mission Creep

When President Obama inherited the eight-year-old war in Afghanistan, its purpose was no longer clear. Originally, we sent troops to Afghanistan after 9/11 to destroy al-Qaeda. The war has now shifted to fighting the Taliban, and we are becoming bogged down in what is essentially a complex of tribal wars.

Obama campaigned on strengthening our forces in Afghanistan, and he still describes the purpose of the war as stopping al-Qaeda from ever attacking us again. We have weakened al-Qaeda, driving them into the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan, but there are al-Qaeda cells in other countries. We will not defeat all the terrorists who mean to harm us by sending armies to all these countries.

There is now a disconnect between the stated purpose of the war in Afghanistan and what it has become. Like many Americans, I do not believe this war serves our national interest. Obama should ask the military for a strategy to leave with the least possible damage to our troops, civilian personnel and those of our allies.

By Michael Maccoby

 |  August 25, 2009; 10:46 AM ET
Category:  Military Leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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This 'government' we are installing by force just passed a law allowing husbands to starve their wife(s) into having sex with them.

This is a lot like the era of Queen Victora's "little wars", the Boer war, Afganistan twice, the uprisings/mutinies in India, the Zulu war, the Sudan and so on. These wars eventually bled the empire so severely they were vulnerable to the disaster of WWI.

Wither goest thou America?

Posted by: shrink2 | August 28, 2009 11:57 AM
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And exactly how do you propose President Obama explain this "flip-flop" to the voting public ?

Of course you are describing a necessary course correction, and of course we need to make these corrections in order to better protect ourselves. But a first-term President cannot appear to not know what he's doing, even if he doesn't know what he's doing.

We will pull out of Afghanistan when the Congress demands it, not when a war President tires of the extraordinary powers that come with being Commander in Chief while the nation is at war. I'm predicting May 14, 2023.

Posted by: BrianX9 | August 28, 2009 10:36 AM
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psycho michael,

Effectively export democracy and unwanted creepy social programs to Afghanistan.

How many expensive career pentagon pretty boys in uniform, sunshine patriots, phony soldiers, stupid social workers, unfit fat ugly nicotine-dependant tattooed military mutants, delusional dumb darlings with badges & ovarian madness, liberal law enforcement “protection order” world policemen, and permanent “gun control” government parasites does it take to defeat a bunch of poor al gebra hillbillies from the mountains of Afghanistan?

Send surplus of crazy usa cops with mental illness into the very very dangerous land of allah because it is in the best interest of America national security.

Vive le violence, victory, et vengence

Posted by: therapy | August 26, 2009 2:34 PM
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