If we as a nation choose to fight a war, ending it in victory is the priority. The first Gulf War is a case in point.

Like it or not, two presidents have elected to fight a war (undeclared) in Afghanistan. Shouldn’t we do all that is necessary to bring it to a swift and decisive conclusion? In our view, we should do just that.

As has been proven time and again, air power without committed and engaged boots on the ground and amongst the local populace fails. Adapting that tactic of putting the troops amongst the populace during the surge in Iraq is self-evident success of a counterinsurgency war. Until someone comes up with a better idea, why not go with what works?

President Obama, correctly, in our view, has chosen to escalate the war in Afghanistan from a stalemate to one in which eradication of al-Qaida is a strategic goal.

He has a secretary of defense who now has his team of military leaders in place with the right counterinsurgency strategy.

Unfortunately, the civilian leaders in Washington seem to be hedging their bet by limiting troop strength and unnecessarily putting pressure on military leaders to not request the number of troops needed to do the job, quickly and efficiently.

The long-term consequences of such political pressure will be another stalemate. We will “free up” a few more areas and bring a few more people under our protection but fail to truly drive the enemy from the field of battle and defeat its ability to return at a later time. That, in our view, was the greatest failure of the Bush administration in Iraq, at least until we gave Gen. David Petraeus what he needed.

Washington has chosen to fight in Afghanistan. Let’s leave politics out of it and let the military and Afghani people win it, again, quickly and decisively. Give them what they need Mr. President.

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