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.
Remember 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.
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!