While much of the nation’s attention has been focused on jobs, the economy, primary elections, and the BP oil spill, it is easy to forget that our men and women in uniform are in the midst of a raging war zone in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
As Obama’s second major troop surge is underway, intensifying clashes with Taliban insurgents have spiked U.S. and NATO casualties in the month of June. Going deeper into debt to pay for a nearly nine year-old war, Obama and Congress have made the Af-Pak War the focal point of the ‘War on Terror’.
With increasing military operations into Taliban-infested regions, U.S. troop casualties are expected to further increase. Obama is expected to review the war’s progress around December.
Last month, a poll revealed that Independents and Democrats were beginning to sour on the war, while Republican support remained firmly entrenched. If the current trend holds, the nine year stalemate may fast become an election issue. Obama may be reluctant to institute a third troop and spending surge, while Republicans may urge him to consider yet another troop increase, regardless of the cost, in order to stave off defeat.
With independent voters surging in 2010, they could be the key to the next step in Obama’s Af-Pak war policy.