Peace prize or no, the Washington Post has found that Barack Obama has authorised another 13,000 troops for the conflict in Afghanistan – over and above previously announced levels. One reason for the deployment is, apparently, that these are mainly support forces, like engineers and medics. But they are troops all the same.
Maybe this deployment is part of an overarching strategy that will see numbers reduce over the longer term. But Afghanistan is one country that has, over the decades, resisted a succession of attempts to pacify it, and as I mentioned recently, will ultimately make its own decisions, and its own way. The steadily increased involvement brings echoes of Vietnam, as I touched upon last month, and the lesson for Obama is stark.
For Vietnam was what brought low another Democrat, that being Lyndon Johnson, who was, rather than JFK, the one who carried the torch of liberalism from the era of Franklin Roosevelt.
It would be a terrible lesson for any of his successors to have to re-learn.