In the continuing discussion over Obama's Nobel Prize, there has been much talk of what this means for Afghanistan. Certain people are wondering if Obama, as the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, will continue the fight in Afghanistan. According to Bob Kerrey, he has to:
Then, against all reasonable predictions, President Bush chose to increase rather than decrease our military commitment. The "surge," as it became known, worked. Victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat.
From what I have seen, President Obama has the same ability to step outside the swirl of public opinion and make the right decision. While success in Afghanistan may not look the same as it does in Iraq, I believe there is a very good chance that a stable democracy can survive there. If it does, it would be good for the Afghan people, good for the security of the region, and good for the United States. The heroism of Afghan voters who turned out this past August in spite of the Taliban's violence should inspire us to stand by their side until security and stability are established in their country.
Afghanistan is also not Iraq. No serious leader in Kabul is asking us to leave. Instead we are being asked to withdraw by American leaders who begin their analysis with the presumption that victory is not possible. They seem to want to ensure defeat by leaving at the very moment when our military leader on the ground has laid out a coherent and compelling strategy for victory.
When it comes to foreign policy, almost nothing matters more then your friends and your enemies knowing you will keep your word and follow through on your commitments. This is the real test of presidential leadership. I hope that President Obama—soon to be a Nobel laureate—passes with flying colors.