Obama, Afghanistan, and ‘Extraordinary Security Precautions’

Wolf Blitzer just observed that the fact that the president has to take these "extraordinary security precautions" to enter Afghanistan proves how far we still have to go in Afghanistan.

President Obama has just landed in Afghanistan on a surprise visit. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer just observed that the fact that the president has to take these “extraordinary security precautions” to enter Afghanistan proves how far we still have to go in Afghanistan.

Now, I yield to no man in being dubious about the level of progress we’ve achieved or will ever achieve in Afghanistan. I’ve written dozens of articles on the subject over the last several years. But, please, the president takes “extraordinary security precautions” to go from the White House to the Capitol Hilton half a mile away.  He’s an incredibly high value target and we’ve had enough presidents get assassinated over the years to develop a certain fetish for ”extraordinary security precautions.”

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, US Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. al-Ameda says:

    Declare victory and bring everyone home.

  2. Scott says:

    @al-Ameda: I think I agree. It is time. In the meantime, let’s not forget that there are daily casualties in Afghanistan. I subscribe by email (here: http://www.defense.gov/news/dodnews.aspx ) so that I can consciously think about each and every death. It is sobering to remember that there is a name, age, and hometown of a real person behind the statistics. It is the least we can do.

  3. PD Shaw says:

    Sad, but true.

    @al-Ameda: I believe the Blitzer standard for victory now requires a sitting President to complete a one hundred yard dash in downtown Kabul w/o a security detail.

  4. Hey Norm says:

    Damn…he is killing it.
    Attacking the Repub’s with OBL, then Romneys Swiss bank account, now a quick Presidential trip to the front.
    With apologies to Rob Reiner…
    “…I’m Barrack Obama, and I AM the President…”

  5. Hey Norm says:

    @ Norm…
    I think this is going to be a rough 6 months for Mr. Willard.

  6. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    I agree, James, but as I tell my students “whenever you read any article or listen to a report, consider what the person making that report does for a living. How does he get paid?”

    The sad situation here is that Wolf simply must talk about “extraordinary security measures” in the hopes of ginning up a need for us to be there. He makes his living by reporting about wars–mostly from the comfort of the studios in Atlanta, but reporting about wars just the same. If we leave, he will need to find a new job.

    Moreover, he really needs to do something to gin up some sort of tempest in a teapot in order to keep the viewers following what he is saying for another 6 months until the election happens. Simply reporting the events of the day will not cut it. Manufacturing a potential conflict about whether we are “abandoning” Afghanistan (much as we did Vietnam, ehem)? Much better television.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @al-Ameda: This.