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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

On Afghanistan: Confusion and Chaos

From the perspective of the President, he's really stuck between a rock and a hard place with regards to Afghanistan. On the one hand, there's all his military advisors. It's never a good idea to go against your military advisors on war matters. On the other side, there's his base. If there's a silver lining out of the chaos in Afghanistan it's that the left has been exposed for the pacifists they are. For years, the left called Afghanistan the good war. They bemoaned that we took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan to focus on Iraq. Now, we have an opportunity to focus on Afghanistan and the left wants to get out. So much for focus I guess.

The president is playing a duplicitous game right now. His general, General McChrystal, recently produced a plan that includes asking for forty thousand more troops. Yet, General McChrystal was chosen in May. On March 27th, President Obama made a major speech in which he announced a new strategy.

Now, General McChrystal is asking for forty thousand more troops for his strategy. The president is balking. He's now proclaiming that before he commits to more troops he wants to make sure that we have the right strategy. What exactly has he been doing since March if not making sure we have the right strategy?

General Petreaus, director of Central Command, today endorsed the strategy recommended by General McChrystal. Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has also endorsed the strategy. Now, normally, if the general on the ground and their immediate boss both endorse a strategy that would be enough. That still doesn't seem to be enough for President Obama.

Instead, he's still "reviewing the strategy". There's even a report that President Obama is considering a strategy devised by his VP, Joe Biden. This would lessen our troop size and focus on drone attacks on Al Qaeda and Taliban targets. Now, try to put that into perspective. Three military leaders with nearly 100 years of miltary service between them all endorse one strategy and Obama isn't sure that's a good idea and is considering one by Joe Biden.

We all know what's going on here. His base no longer thinks Afghanistan is the good war. They're tired of that war and want to get out. The president isn't all that gung ho in confronting them. Maybe, he fears that if he takes them they won't support him on health care. Maybe, he just doesn't want to take the heat from his base. I don't know and frankly I don't care. What I do know is that we're drifting along with no strategy while Afghanistan deteriorates into chaos. Our troops are in the field and they have no direction.

I've always told people that during war the only thing that matters to me when I vote is the war. Here's a great example of why I have that philosophy. Nothing that Obama is doing now domestically can't be reversed not even health care. If we lose in Afghanistan, that can never be taken back. That is a devastating blow that's not so simple to recover from. Yet, it's hard to see the thought process from the White House as not having far too much political consideration. That's not the Commander in Chief I want. During war, that's the sort of strategy process that leads to nothing but disaster.

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