Afghanistan and the United States weren’t the best of friends the world has ever seen. Their rivalry wasn’t a great shock for the world as their actions reveal their approach towards each other. The war in Afghanistan was all over the news in 2009 and one astonishing story that took center stage was the drawn-out public decision-making process going on inside the White House. Deliberations were held over what America’s ultimate strategy should be. David Schmitt, a Political Science professor at Northeastern University whose expertise includes international relations and national security policy, discussed then-president Barack Obama’s leadership on the war.
When asked if it is unusual for an administration to allow the process of decision-making on such an essential issue as Afghanistan to play out so openly, David was quite relaxed while claiming that such matters of going and conducting the war and such leaks from White House doesn’t seem to be. He recalls how President George W. Bush decided to go to war in Iraq and this decision received a great deal of public attention. David’s reaction to the implication of such things in Afghanistan on the public image of Obama as a leader in the domestic political realm wasn’t quite surprising. He opined that despite the beliefs that Obama’s leadership on the healthcare reform is weak, it is somehow what the rational people and opinion makers want.
Obama’s deliberations regarding more troops for Afghanistan could contribute to a reputation for indecisiveness. Schmitt asserted, “I believe most U.S. allies should view his careful review as quite appropriate. The Taliban and Al Qaeda, on the other hand, may view the president’s deliberations as a sign of weakness.” He added, “The openness of decisions in democracy may appear as a weakness to totalitarian enemies like Al Qaeda, but it is usually a source of strength in the long run. “