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Afghanistan: A Mistake?

President Obama's address on Afghanistan turned the politics of Christian advocacy groups on its head. Friends were critical. Foes were supportive. And some groups found themselves with strange bedfellows.

Jim Wallis of Sojourners decried the troop increase as "a mistake" and "the wrong direction," calling for greater diplomacy and more humanitarian aid.

"We will pray for our servicemen and women who will continue to sacrifice for a tragic strategy, for more innocent civilians in Afghanistan who will die from more military escalation, for a president whose deepest instincts we still trust, and for the soul of our own nation," said Wallis. "May God save us from our well-intentioned mistakes."

Pat Robertson, who rarely holds the same political positions as Wallis, found himself agreeing that the new strategy is a mistake, albeit for different reasons. Robertson said in a 700 Club broadcast that America should leave immediately because Afghanistan is "a quagmire."

"It'll be another Iraq, except it will be never-ending," Robertson said. "And those fierce tribes just like to kill each other. They've been doing it for years. … There are certain areas that are amenable to the democratic process. I don't think Afghanistan is one of them."

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, gave a rare show of support for President Obama, calling his strategy "an act of gutsy leadership." That said, Perkins said the President must pay for the surge in troops, preferably by halting some of the Democratic Party's planned expansions of social programs.

Others who support an increase in troops balked at the 2011 deadline to pull out of Afghanistan. Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice supported ...

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December 2009

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