There is definitely an advantage for an incumbent president, whether or not he is terribly popular, that the ones that seek to take his position from him simply cannot come close to. After all, Mitt Romney nor anyone else besides the President himself can make an unannounced “surprise” visit to Afghanistan on the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden (and one of Obama’s biggest watershed moments in his first term) and then publicly address the nation to let everyone know that he is agreeing to terms to end the eleven-year-old war against the Taliban. On top of that, in his address, President Obama went on to say that since the raid that finally got bin Laden, the United States and allies have been more successful than ever at crushing Al Qaeda.
The troop departure sounds very similar to what happened in Iraq. All troops are to be withdrawn by 2014, and in 2013, power will be slowly turned over to the Afghanistan security services to start taking care of their own security concerns. There may still be some NATO forces present in Afghanistan for up to ten years after 2014 to help train Afghan forces and occasionally raid terrorists as needed.
We at Common Sense Conspiracy have long pointed out that so much fuss was made of the War in Iraq, but little or no protests ever occurred over the even more puzzling war in Afghanistan. And then, the Iraq War actually ended while the other one continued on. In any case, the troops being withdrawn is good news for everyone. But the timing of the grand gesture is certainly suspect.
What a better way than to kick off the campaign season then a sensational secret visit to Afghanistan to end the war? That’s the kind of grand move that only the President himself can pull off. There’s more to it than meets the eye. Think about it. Doing this on the anniversary of the execution of Osama bin Laden is not just symbolic, but very useful. After all, it puts it back on the minds of Americans, and being one of Obama’s finest and most approved of moments, getting it back in the forefront in the news is a great political strategy. Don’t think the pundits in the Obama re-election campaign didn’t think this one through. Every move from now until November is calculated, and they will try to use the office of president as a campaigning tool in and of itself. As we move forward, don’t be surprised if a few more things seem to mysteriously start swinging the President’s way.