Yes, withdrawal means more indiscriminate airstrikes

The New York Times explains “The Biden Plan”:

Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden made it clear that the option Mr. Biden had proposed was not a pure counterterrorism alternative, relying only on drones and Special Forces to track down leaders of Al Qaeda. Instead, Mr. Biden’s approach would increase the use of such surgical strikes while leaving the overall size of the American force in Afghanistan roughly at the 68,000 troops currently authorized.

I’ve discussed this dynamic elsewhere: to make force reductions politically palatable, Obama may have to resort to more air strikes to shore up his national security credibility. If you’re a cold-eyed realist whose primary interest lies in extricating the United States from Afghanistan as quickly and with as little cost as possible, this approach probably sounds appealing. Liberal war skeptics and non-interventionists, however, ought to be less thrilled at the prospect of bombing our way out of Central Asia.

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One thought on “Yes, withdrawal means more indiscriminate airstrikes

  1. This is a really good point Will. What Biden seems to be advocating is a return to Clinton-style wars where public support is maximized through casualty-free airwars. This approach allowed Clinton to go to war four times in his presidency and enjoy liberal support every time. Pilotless drones make this all the more pallatable.

    The only problem seems to be that Afghanistan is a much different theater than Iraq or Bosnia. While airpower certainly has its place, I’ve always believed that Al Qaeda will only be destroyed up close and personal. It’s going to be the SEALS and Delta and the Rangers that do that, not a smart bomb from 50,000 feet.

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