When this showed up in my twitter search on @timespeople (The NYTimes social networking startup) my expectation was that it was a piece by some conservative all a flutter with glee over â€œall the Obama political trialsâ€â€¦.but it was Frank Rich, so I read onâ€¦..and itâ€™s talking Afghanistan, and so I continue reading:
As Goldstein said to me last week, itâ€™s â€œeerieâ€ how closely even these political maneuvers track those of a half-century ago, when J.F.K. was weighing whether to send combat troops to Vietnam. Military leaders lobbied for their new mission by planting leaks in the press. Kennedy fired back by authorizing his own leaks, which, like Obamaâ€™s, indicated his reservations about whether American combat forces could turn a counterinsurgency strategy into a winnable war.
This part leaves me with a nervous feeling about what might come â€œafter Obamaâ€â€¦..
Though Kennedy was outnumbered in his own White House â€” and though he had once called Vietnam â€œthe cornerstone of the free world in Southeast Asiaâ€ â€” he ultimately refused to authorize combat troops. He instead limited Americaâ€™s military role to advisory missions. That policy, set in November 1961, would only be reversed, to tragic ends, after his death.