Obama’s presidency gets tougher

When Barack Obama became our 44th president, he knew he signed up for an enormous task certain to never be short of difficulty. As if a president’s job wasn’t already difficult enough, Obama was elected during one of the roughest times in this country’s history.’ The issue now evolving into his greatest concern is the war-plagued state of our nation.

The situation in Afghanistan has dominated the news recently, and will continue to demand attention from the president. The comparisons and analogies of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Vietnam are gaining popularity. Some of these remarks have merit; others are enflamed by inaccurate premises.

The president will have to act carefully and quickly to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan; the one thing Obama doesn’t have is time to waste. The president’s greatest task is to find a solution that will resolve the conflict that politicians can collectively agree on. This includes taking notes and cues from history.

In the book Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam, author Gordon M. Goldstein examines the parallels between the Vietnam era and today. The book, which serves as a wake-up call for many Americans and governmental policy makers, is a must-read when thinking about the current conflict.’

Politics will heavily factor into how this current conflict plays out. Obama, who was marveled over during his presidential campaign for his skills in rhetoric and bipartisan spirit, is going to need those skills now more than ever. He hasn’t achieved the levels of cooperation or maturity so far needed for healthcare or economic reform, but hopefully the third problem is the charm.

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal has already called for more troops from the president, warning that not getting them could result in a failed mission ‘- a mission we’ve already spent too much money on. Shortly after the general’s request for more troops became widely known, Obama’s team expressed their hesitation to immediately send more troops. The administration knows that adding substantial amounts of troops overseas wouldn’t create a better solution than they could at home.

The Afghanistan conflict is an enormous issue that Obama will likely address with little to no help from his fellow politicians. He will be forced to rely on history, his vice president, who is a champion of foreign policy, his fellow colleagues and literature.

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