Sunday, June 26, 2011

HnC Vault: The Sniff Test

Originally posted November 4, 2009

Despite the urgent need for more troops in Afghanistan, Barack Obama insisted on delaying any decision until the results of the Afghan election were in. But now, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says "I think the decision will be made in the coming weeks." And because "thinking" it will happen wasn't lame enough, Gibbs emphasized that the decision "may" get made... which leaves open the possibility that it may not.

The timetable for a decision is not artificial: the longer the president stalls, the lower morale plunges in the armed forces, the more soldiers die, and the less likely that there will be time for additional troops to be trained and deployed effectively.

This president, who enjoyed great political success by simply voting "present" on many issues as a senator in Illinois, needs to learn that this isn't an option when it comes to presidential decisions. Ironically, he told re-elected Afghan president Karzai that when it comes to showing leadership "the proof is not going to be in words, it's going to be in deeds.
" In this, he's entirely right - and his lack of deeds clearly shows that Obama is unfit for the critical job of Commander in Chief.

Update 6/26/11

Our presence (and soon to be absence) in Afghanistan has been very much in the news this week, with Barack Obama stating that he's pulling out all-important troops over the objections of his generals.

And just how did those extra troops get there in the first place? General Stanley McChrystal...the commander and lead strategist for Afghanistan at the time...issued a report saying that 40,000 additional troops were urgently needed to avoid "total mission failure." This was issued in a report because the president had only talked with McChrystal once...and the president was pressed into acting on it because the document was leaked to the press before being suppressed.

So what did Obama do then? Diddly-squat. He postponed making the decision for months (enjoying vacations and golf outings along the way). When public outrage grew, he arranged a quick nighttime photo-op in which he saluted a single flag-draped coffin to show how "seriously" he took making any decision. On a side note, there were multiple flag-draped coffins at the airport where Obama brought his photographers... but all but one of the military families refused to give permission to the president to use their dead as cheap political props.

After months of stalling, Obama finally agreed to send in additional troops - albeit fewer than requested...and simultaneously announced a timetable for pulling them out again, victorious or not. Apparently "Military Strategy 101" wasn't taught at Harvard.

The new troops made a huge difference. But to consolidate their victories, they need to stay in place through the critical fighting season coming in late 2012. But that's not going to happen.

They'll be gone by September...just in time to look good for the 2012 elections. And of course, the consequences of their withdrawal won't occur until after the elections...which, like the lives of soldiers and the cause of freedom, is of no interest to Barack Hussein Obama at all.



Jazz said...

I wonder how many will be in Libya by then...?

Earl said...

All aspects of Obama's alleged Afghanistan policy are politically driven to win re-election. I still want the Taliban defeated in Afghanistan and recognize that fewer and fewer Americans feel that way. Anything less is a victory for those who want us all dead. I sincerely hope the Republican candidates are able to articulate a definition of victory that separates themselves from Obama. (Sorry R. Paul and that new guy who announced last week who sounds too wishy washy for me to remember his name - you guys fail the leadership test.)

Anonymous said...

Next to last paragraph, "...the critical fighting season coming in late 2011."

Should be "in late 2012"?

(As bad as it is, trying not to make it seem even worse!)

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Jazz- But those won't be American troops. Those will be NATO troops...who are American.

@Earl- Obama declared Afghanistan to be the "war of necessity." Which makes one wonder why victory is not therefore necessary.

@Anonymous- D'oh!!! Yes, it should have been 2012 and I've now changed it. Thanks for catching the typo!

pryorguy said...

I would hate to be the leader who has to deal with these selfish cowardly terrorists...I mean, how do you do it?
They are like insects, they just keep coming, no matter how many you kill...and, because of their lifelong indoctrination, they HATE all this moment a child is born who will, in 20 years or so, walk into a building and detonate himself and kill some people who are being born at this moment, and on and on it goes.

Tell ya what, get a lock on MECCA, with the warning, 'hit us again, say bye-bye to your holy place, it's your decision'. Sounds rough I know, but I dont think we've seen the really rough stuff yet! It is just around the corner, though, if Obama gets a second term!

pryorguy again said...

btw, I hear the servers in your area all went down from all the traffic yesterday!!WOW!!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@pryorguy- I've had that same thought about putting Mecca in the crosshairs before. Unfortunately, it would probably play right into the radicals hands by moving ALL Muslims off the sidelines and into the active fight - and there are lots of those folks. Still, from a purely emotional standpoint the idea has a certain pleasing quality.

And yes, it was busy here yesterday, but today is noticeably quieter. Nor do I expect much passionate debate tomorrow, unless fans of Nancy Pelosi happen to take umbrage with my cartoon and commentary.