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Obama Promises New Directions, Slightly Different Wars

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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Barack Obama wants to drop the hammer on all those terrorists who've been luxuriating in their mountain lairs along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. That's a key theme in the "major" foreign policy speech he gave this morning which places "taking the fight to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan" as his number two foreign policy goal. (Number one? Maybe kinda sorta not exactly withdrawing from Iraq in 16 months.)

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Great idea, since things have really gone to hell in this area recently. There are thought to be more than 100 terrorist camps in the infamous border region, and the stream of foreign militants heading there is now said to be greater than the one feeding the insurgency in Iraq. What's more, attacks on U.S.-affiliated troops in the region are way up. Nine American soldiers were killed on Sunday when their border area outpost manned by 45 Americans and 25 Afghans was overrun by possibly as many as 500 anti-U.S. fighters. Bad, bad times in Afghanistan, which Obama proposes to turn around by sending around 7,000 more U.S. troops (a surge!) and making Pakistan like us by "standing up for the aspirations of the Pakistani people" and tripling their non-military aid.

The downside?

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