At a Senate Foreign Relations hearing Thursday, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said "the situation got worse" after she voted to fund Obama's request to send 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan earlier this year.
"How can we now leap to the conclusion that more troops will mean less violence when the opposite seems to have occurred?" Boxer said.
Obama is abandoning the coalition of liberals who helped elect him, analyst Phyllis Bennis of the liberal Institute for Policy Studies said, by relying on support from "the Pentagon, the Republicans and the right wing of the Democratic Party, who together will claim their due as an empowered pro-war coalition."
That realignment, she said, could imperil Obama's domestic agenda - including proposals to reform health care, establish climate change policy and fix the economy - by alienating liberals in his party and adding to the burgeoning federal debt.
"It ruins the potential for his domestic agenda," Bennis said. "How is he supposed to do health care if he spends another $30 billion on Afghanistan? And if he doesn't do health care or climate change or his jobs program, then he's got a big problem politically."
Obama's grassroots supporters are dismayed by his plan for a troop surge, even though he consistently called Afghanistan the "central front" in the battle against terrorism during his presidential campaign and has called for sending at least two more brigades, roughly 10,000 soldiers, there since 2007.
* My comment: He sent 2 more brigades + in April of 2009, 21.000 troops.
The liberal organizing hub MoveOn.org wants supporters to lobby Congress to set a firm troop pullout date. And on the Web site of Organizing for America, an extension of Obama's campaign effort, a poster identified as Jono Shaffer wrote: "This decision on Afghanistan is a slap in the face to those of us who supported you as a peace candidate."