President Obama wasn't just laying out the process by which we'll end the war in Afghanistan. He told us how we'll end the indefinite war that started on September 11, 2001. The implications of this are HUGE on everything from the Authorization for Use of Military Force that Congress passed 3 days after 9/11 to NDAA and issues about indefinite detention. As I've been saying all along, these are not civil liberties issues, they are an outgrowth of indefinite war. And tonight President Obama told us how we're going to end it.
The President listed 5 steps we'll take towards that goal:
First, we have begun a transition to Afghan responsibility for security...On that 5th point, he specifically talked about Pakistan - inviting them to be a partner in denying safe haven to al Qaeda.
Second, we are training Afghan Security Forces to get the job done...
Third, we are building an enduring partnership. The agreement we signed today sends a clear message to the Afghan people: as you stand up, you will not stand alone...
Fourth, we are pursuing a negotiated peace. In coordination with the Afghan government, my Administration has been in direct discussions with the Taliban. We have made it clear that they can be a part of this future if they break with al Qaeda, renounce violence, and abide by Afghan laws...
Fifth, we are building a global consensus to support peace and stability in South Asia.
Then he said this:
My fellow Americans, we have traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. Yet here, in the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon. The Iraq War is over. The number of our troops in harm’s way has been cut in half, and more will be coming home soon. We have a clear path to fulfill our mission in Afghanistan, while delivering justice to al Qaeda.Notice that when he refers to "the dark cloud of war," he's not just talking about Afghanistan. He referred to Iraq and "delivering justice to al Qaeda" (who operate primarily out of Pakistan). He's talking about the nightmare of war that overtook us following 9/11. And he sees "the light of a new day on the horizon" as an end to that dark cloud.
This time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end.God Bless Him!!!
That's the hope and change I voted for.