U.S. national interests cannot hinge on personal piques. Karzai is both deeply unreliable and terminally ungrateful. But he will be gone one day, as will Obama. The terrorist breeding grounds of Afghanistan and Pakistan will remain.
For four years, the president argued that our strategic interests require a residual presence in Afghanistan in order to prevent a re-establishment of terrorist safe havens in the region.
Does he still believe this? Enough with the agonized ambivalence. Obama must be made to argue the case one way or the other.
It's a modest agenda, although true tax reform would be an achievement of historic dimensions. But it should by no means diminish rigorous GOP efforts to stop an Obama program that aggrandizes government in every sphere (education, health care, energy, finance) and passes monstrous thousand-page bills that not only effectively delegate unlimited power to the unelected bureaucracy but, like Obamacare, are so unworkable that the administration itself has to jettison one piece after another.
Oppose further expansion of the entitlement state, reform the tax code, secure the border, demand clarity on Afghanistan. A modest, doable, responsible agenda for 2013.
Charles Krauthammer's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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