IT WAS astounding to see the entire establishment and new media, as well as politicians, jump on President Obama’s announcement on Tuesday that he would be drawing down troops in Afghanistan to 9,800 by the time he leaves office. This was always meant to be a statement about his own belief in our presence in that country.
“We can not only responsibly end our war in Afghanistan and achieve the objectives that took us to war in the first place, we’ll also be able to begin a new chapter in the story of American leadership around the world.” – President Obama [Rose Garden address]
This never had anything to do with what could happen when a new POTUS is inaugurated.
Today came the proof, in an interview with Secretary John Kerry, Chuck Todd made substantial news.
Kerry says the 10-year agreement with Afghanistan does permit the US to send in more troops if next POTUS chooses. @dailyrundown
“” Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) May 28, 2014
This was not considered yesterday, but it is significant to remember that U.S. foreign policy is handed down from president to president, with political differences between politicians and a new Congress able to be flexed at the new commander in chief’s prerogative.
What would Madam President do, if Hillary Rodham Clinton takes the mantle of commander of the U.S. military?
We don’t know, which is a question being asked over at BuzzFeed.
“In my mind, she’s definitely going to do something about immigration,” said one of the guests, Maryam Mitchell-Sabir. “I’m not for putting people out, but I’m for stopping so many people from coming in.” Judy Iturmendi, another volunteer, turned. “I hear what you’re saying, but I’m gonna disagree.”
The debate moved from deportations to labor gaps.
And what would Hillary say? They weren’t quite sure yet.
“I don’t really know what she’ll run on,” said Iturmendi.
Newark’s small “Day of Action” offered a glimpse at one symptom of the early Clinton draft movement. Supporters, drawn as they are to the candidate, aren’t yet clear on the particulars of what her message would be. For all the groups and super PACs that support Clinton’s potential presidential campaign “” there are at least eight so far “” the policy specifics of that campaign remain obscure.
We do know Secretary Clinton has a lifetime commitment to the empowerment and human rights of girls and women.
That means our involvement in Afghanistan beyond the Obama era, including if a Republican candidate assume the presidency, however unlikely and whether Clinton runs and is successful or not, is in flux.
We could find ourselves re-engaged in Afghanistan, especially if it ends up looking like Iraq.
President Obama will address the graduates at West Point today at 10:15 a.m., where he will outline the meaning of the “Obama doctrine,” which is not only in preparation for the upcoming midterms, as well as to address the withering criticism the Administration is facing, but will hint at where his presidency will turn its focus should he lose the Senate.
So, not matter what’s happening now, there is an ellipses on the end of President Obama’s drawdown, because a new POTUS remains free do to whatever he or she wants as long as the Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF) is not rescinded, or rewritten and re-authorized, by Congress.