"This Is Not An American Battle"

President Obama, appearing with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen today after their meeting at the White House, pointed out with regard to Afghanistan that "this is not an American battle. This is a NATO mission." It may be a NATO mission, but in domestic political discourse, it's sure viewed as an American battle: a war that the U.S. is engaged in--one that the left is starting to want the U.S. to leave.

Pointing out NATO's mission in Afghanistan, even as America was the impetus for that mission and has by far the most troops there, may not be the most significant thing a president can say. It's just a matter of fact. But it expresses a philosophical difference from the way Afghanistan is talked about--a difference that fits quite nicely within Obama's geopolitical philosophy of shared responsibility and his aversion to American unilateralism.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Politics

Just In