President Barack Obama. “A New Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan”. March 27, 2009: “For the Afghan people, a return to Taliban rule would condemn their country to brutal governance, international isolation, a paralyzed economy, and the denial of basic human rights to the Afghan people – especially women and girls. The return in force of al Qaeda terrorists who would accompany the core Taliban leadership would cast Afghanistan under the shadow of perpetual violence.” President Obama goes on to argue that the “surge” will help ensure that this does not happen. And, the argument goes, even if a surge increases civilian deaths in the short-term, it is essential to long-term security and peace for Afghans.