President Obama said during the 2008 campaign and afterwards that the war in Afghanistan was a “war of necessity.” I agree. It is vital that we win there. I’ve been perplexed by his slow response to his commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal’s, request for more troops. A surge worked in Iraq, and with dealing with counter-insurgency more boots on the ground will help the existing troops in order for them to fulfill their mission in Afghanistan.
The White House is currently looking for middle ground, and President Obama appears to be leading more like a community organizer than a commander-in-chief. They are thinking through a forward strategy, but seem to be balking at McChrystal’s recommendation, one that General David Petraeus backs. The final decision appears to be yet weeks away.
But they continue to talk and discuss, and it doesn’t seem like he’s interested in the input from people who are actually there. Since the White House delayed a planned trip General McChrystal was going to make to meet with President Obama face-to-face. Since President Obama doesn’t seem to talk with his commander in Afghanistan that often, I wonder who he talks to? It seems like he’s more interested in what his civilian advisors have to say than his military ones.
Is he listening to Vice President Biden who would like to withdraw troops and continue airstrikes against Al Qaeda? McChrystal said in London that wasn’t a feasible plan.
“A strategy that does not leave Afghanistan in a stable position is probably a short-sighted strategy.”
It’s a war of necessity, remember? He’s had months to make a decision on this. Who is he listening to when he’s considering making the decision to back off the Taliban and looks to engage with them. Forget that the Taliban harbored Al Qaeda before and refused to give Osama Bin Laden up. Forget that they turn suicide bombers loose in Kabul. Is ignoring them really a winning strategy? In what war have we ever been able to ignore the allies of our enemies? While Obama looks to appease, the Taliban kill, well I guess since our President is now a Nobel Laureate we should expect no less. Perhaps all military options are off the table now.
It’s time for him to start acting like the Commander-in-Chief, and listen to his military advisors. What was the last war won by a President who didn’t listen to and follow the advice given by his military commanders?