In the previous presidential debates that have touched on foreign policy, Barack Obama and Joe Biden have touted their administration’s approach to the war in Afghanistan as a success, with little protest from Republican challengers Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

But a closer look at the results of Obama’s Afghanistan policy, both practically and morally, reveal a real weakness in the administration’s record that, thanks to a complicit press, has not been properly presented to the American people.

The human costs of the war are increasing; more troops have been killed or wounded in Obama’s one term than in George Bush’s two. The families of killed servicemembers have called out the administration for its nonsensical rules of engagement which needlessly endanger soldiers. A staff sergeant who was later KIA warned that the Commander-in-Chief’s aimless strategy was achieving the same result.

But beneath the policies themselves — which, to reiterate, have objectively increased the number of troop deaths — lays an ideological shift in America’s approach to the fight. On the one hand, the Taliban and its affiliate Al-Qaeda are the entities we are physically fighting. But on a philosophical level, the Obama administration has softened in its resolve against the Taliban. We have legitimized the Taliban and its world view by negotiating with — and making concessions to — this Islamist organization.

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