What Obama actually said on Afghanistan

Sigh. I find comments such as the following from Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times wearying.

Like others, I have my disappointments with Mr. Obama, including his tripling of forces in Afghanistan.

Let’s try and recall what Obama’s campaign promises in regards to Afghanistan were, by, for example, looking at this NPR article from 2008.

While on the campaign trail, Obama had said this failure centered on President Bush not having sent enough troops to Afghanistan. And at campaign rallies, he constantly pledged to stop the war in Iraq and turn to the other.
“We will bring this war to an end. We will focus our attention on Afghanistan,” Obama said.
O’Hanlon says Obama’s campaign focused mostly on sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Occasionally, Obama raised the problem of fighters coming across the border from Pakistan.

Kristof and the various progressives who criticize Obama for his decisions on Afghanistan are certainly free to say they disagree with him. But they can’t claim to be “disappointed.” Disappointment implies you thought someone was going to do something and he didn’t do it. Obama has been true to his word on this issue. He said he was going to pull troops out of Iraq and put them in Afghanistan, and that’s exactly what he did.

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