US President Barack Obama’s election on an anti-war ticket looks even more hollow by the day. First there was the admission that US troops would remain in Iraq in some capacity until 2011 (or beyond, should the Iraqis request it of course). Now Obama’s the re-invasion of Afghanistan is to be escalated after Congress narrowly passed a supplemental $106 billion support fund for its continuation.
Looking at the breakdown of these huge sums we can see that Obama’s Af-Pak policy differs little from that of his predecssors with $80 billion going towards military operations with only $10.4 billion allotted to international development (about $7 billion will go towards the swine flu epidemic). The Neo-cons too showed little concern for the aftermath of their destruction. The measure will go through the Senate today. With no exit-strategy for the quagmire in Af-Pak, Katrina Vanden Heuvel writes that this action threatens both Obama’s ability to “re-engage the international community” and also his domestic plans.
Just a few minutes ago, the Obama Administration’s $106 billion war supplemental passed on the House floor by a vote of 226-202. Congressional Democrats who oppose military escalation were in a tough position. They were whipped aggressively by both Speaker Pelosi and the White House. And they support President Obama. Which is exactly why they did the right thing in voting no.
President Obama himself has said, “There’s got to be an exit strategy.” Yet we are sliding into a military escalation and commitments without a full and necessary national debate about the ends, means, or exit strategy for this war. Continue reading “Obama’s $106 billion war fund approved in House”