AfghanistanObama administration officials on December 6 made it perfectly clear that American military forces will remain in Afghanistan for a long time, playing down President Barack Obama’s announcement last week that U.S. withdrawal could begin in July 2011.

Obama at West PointPresident Barack Obama’s December 1 speech at West Point was meant to justify sending 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan at a cost of $30 billion per year, but he neglected to mention one small detail: U.S. intelligence officials estimate there are as few as 100 al-Qaeda operatives in all of Afghanistan.

The commanding general of the Marine Corps in southern Afghanistan has a message for President Obama: We need more troops on the ground, but not ones with the Stars and Stripes on their uniforms.

Before he had finished invoking the blessings of God upon the nation he was elected to lead, researchers and pundits had evaluated every assertion made by President Barack Obama during his speech to West Point cadets on December 1. During the presentation, President Obama set forth his plan for deploying 30,000 additional ground troops to Afghanistan and for bringing them home beginning in 18 months. Listening to the president’s evaluation of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, one is reminded of Yogi Berra’s famous malapropism: “déjà vu all over again.”

Americans with flagA poll released on December 3 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press revealed that 49 percent of Americans believe that their country should should "mind its own business internationally." Pew headlined its report about the poll in the language long favored by those advocating an interventionist U.S. foreign policy: "Isolationist Sentiment Surges to Four-Decade High.”