Obama Fiddles While Afghanistan Burns

In March, President Obama gave a speech extolling his new strategy in Afghanistan in which he proclaimed that after a long “careful policy review” he now had a “comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Good morning. Today, I am announcing a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

This marks the conclusion of a careful policy review that I ordered as soon as I took office. My Administration has heard from our military commanders and diplomats. We have consulted with the Afghan and Pakistani governments; with our partners and NATO allies; and with other donors and international organizations. And we have also worked closely with members of Congress here at home. Now, I’d like to speak clearly and candidly to the American people.

Obama wagging his finger at usRemember that Mr. Obama made these bold and typically self-congratulatory statements six months ago, sounding like he actually knew the difference between his posterior and a hole in the ground.  However, after sacking Gen. McKiernan in May and replacing him with Gen. Stanley McChrystal (perhaps naively hoping that he had found a “yes” man), Mr. Obama is delaying a response to the theater commanders’ request for more troops.  The likely reason for this, as outlined in an article in the Weekly Standard, is that he has far higher political priorities than the lives of soldiers fighting in Afghanistan:

General Stanley McChrystal’s classified assessment of the situation in Afghanistan has been obtained by the Washington Post. According to the Post’s report, McChrystal warns that without the deployment of additional U.S. forces, the war “will likely result in failure.” McChrystal has already put together a detailed troop request, but the administration has asked that he delay in submitting that request for fear of complicating Obama’s health care push on the Hill. The Times speculates that McChrystal will ask for anywhere from 10,000 to 45,000 additional troops. I’ve heard rumors the number could be as many as 60,000 additional troops at the high end.

So the president is dragging his feet on providing necessary resources to our fighting men and women because it is a far lower priority than his desire to take over our health care system and morph it into a centrally controlled, soviet-style entitlement program.  This is what you get when you elect the least qualified and most radical president in American history.

Obamas Priorities Do Not Include Afghan War

Rumor has it that Gen. McChrystal may resign if the president does not provide the resources that the commanders are asking for, as he feels that it will mean the difference between victory and defeat.  Again, the Weekly Standard article quotes the leaked McChrystal report:

According to the McChrystal assessment, “Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) — while Afghan security capacity matures — risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.” Yet Obama is slow-walking the troop increase for political reasons, even as it seems likely that he will, in the end, do the right thing and send the necessary reinforcements.

It is likely that many of you reading this do not have relatives in the military, and I am not suggesting that the fact that my brother proudly serves in the United States Army gives me some extra moral high ground, but it does make it a lot more real to me when I think about our troops over there fighting for their lives while their commander in chief plays politics over the war and his domestic politics.

I urged my brother to think long and hard before signing up for another hitch last fall, given that it looked likely that we would soon have a radical empty-suit as Commander In Chief.  Ultimately he decided to reenlist.  He is a fine American who fills me with pride.  Hooah, brother!

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9 responses to “Obama Fiddles While Afghanistan Burns

  1. [According to the Post’s report, McChrystal warns that without the deployment of additional U.S. forces, the war “will likely result in failure.”]

    What he doesn’t say is that the deployment of additional troops will result in success. You can call Obama all the names you want, but the truth is, it’s very likely increasing troops will result in a quagmire. It’s impossible to have a victory when victory is not definable.

    So Obama’s doing to right thing by considering all options. And you’re a coward for not joining the military and expecting others to protect you while you push for war.

  2. You’re entitled to your opinion, Ben. It sounded like Obama claimed to know what he was talking about in March and had a strategy but no longer does. In fact, he simply does not have time for icky military realities when they take away from his domestic push for statism.

    Let me *assure* you that you would not call me a coward to my face, Ben. I would surmise that you are just a typical big-talking liberal beta male. Big man on the keyboard, but hangs with the womenfolk when things get tough.

  3. Ah, ha! I was right! You’re a war monger but you aren’t willing to fight!

    I’m not the one pretending to be a tough guy. You right-wingers are afraid of your own shadows. There is no push for “statism” by Obama. Individual rights were in real jeopardy during the Bush administration when right-wingers were all to willing to sacrifice liberties in the name of security. That is real cowardice.

  4. This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 9/29/2009, at The Unreligious Right

  5. Nice try, Ben, but no cigar. You can continue your sad attempts to anger me by attacking my “toughness”. It is a classic beta male tactic that you guys will use sitting there safely hiding behind your keyboard, hands shaking as you coax out some pseudo-toughness, but you would never have the cojones to talk big like this face to face to a man like me. Men like me don’t tolerate that mamby pamby crap even from real men and frankly the women in my neck of the woods are tougher than men like you.

    If we examine your, ahem, “logic” we see that it is flimsy at best. By your “logic” no one who is not in the military has a say or a right to opinion, which is odd considering that we do have civilian control of the military in the US.

    By your logic your Dear Leader Mr. Obama has no right to an opinion either. Brilliant, Ben.

    It’s funny how you attack things that the Democrats and the President supported, things that have kept big talking beta men like you safe. You cannot have it both ways, Benny Boy.

    Without tough soldiers like my brother, little men like you would be living with a boot on your neck.

  6. You’re not tough. Tough guys don’t go around telling everyone how tough they are. You’re scared.

  7. Let’s move on from this adolescent conversation, Ben.

    I think that the president is not giving the AfPak theater the attention that it deserves and that the brave soldiers there deserve. I think that we do need to take a hard look at the real situation. Obviously, since being defeated in Iraq the hardcores are focusing on Afghanistan once again – their “front” being essentially narrowed. The president needs to lead on this and either 1) articulate what he thinks that we need to accomplish there and how to do it, or 2) Pull out and face the possible political consequences.

    The truth is that polls are trending *against* sending more troops, so he may not have the pushback that some expect. However, if he pulls out and the region produces another generation of effective terrorists then that is going to be ON HIM. Being president is far more real than community organizing, as he is seeing. But I contend that he should spend his time on the war and put aside his health care and Olympics focus. First and foremost, the POTUS is supposed to be CinC.

  8. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says there is no rift between President Obama and U.S. military commanders, and that General McChrystal has voiced support for the strategy review.

    “General McChrystal was very explicit in saying he thinks this assessment, this review that is going on right now, is exactly the right thing to do,” said Gates. “He obviously does not want it to be open-ended.”

    Gates spoke on ABC television’s This Week program. He added that a strategy review is timely, coming after Afghanistan’s contested national election, and that failure to carry out the review would endanger U.S. forces.

    “Having the wrong strategy would put even more soldiers at risk,” he said. “I think it is important to get the strategy right. And then we can make the resources decisions.”

    Appearing on another U.S. television program, Gates said that an early U.S. exit from Afghanistan would be a “mistake,” and that allowing the Taliban and al-Qaida to emerge victorious in the country would have, in his words, “catastrophic consequences”.

    http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-09-27-voa19.cfm

  9. Here we are almost two months later, Ben, with no decision from our frightened CinC.

    Much better men than Barack Obama have asked for help and are dying while he plays political triangulation games, apparently terrified of the hard-left of his party.

    McChrystal requested the additional troops on August 30th, so we are approaching 3 months.

    This is a president who insisted that we had to pass his Health Care Takeover and Cap-and-Trade immediately but has no concern for the soldiers in harms way.

    But clearly conservatives are far more likely than liberals to have a close relative or friend in the military so Mr. Obama is just ignoring a demographic that does not concern him.

    I hope he enjoys his one term.

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