Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Obama the Undecided 
The New York Times reports:

President Obama told Congressional leaders on Tuesday that he would not substantially reduce American forces in Afghanistan or shift the mission to just hunting terrorists there, but he indicated that he remained undecided about the major troop buildup proposed by his commanding general.

The truth, however, is that Obama is undecided about the major troop buildup he himself proposed during the campaign.

Democrat Barack Obama said Monday that as president he would send at least two more combat brigades to Afghanistan, where U.S. soldiers face rising violence and endured their deadliest attack in three years on Sunday.

The proposed force increase - about 7,000 troops - is part of Obama's plan to pull combat troops out of Iraq and focus on the growing threat from a resurgent al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

"As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan," Obama said in an op-ed published Monday in The New York Times, a day before he plans a speech here on his vision for Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there," Obama said.

Obama hasn't articulated a contrary position since that time. McChrystal came out in support of the only guidance Obama has publicly given so far. Truth be told, it was Biden, not McChrystal, who 'put his cock on the anvil' arguing a position contrary to the President. It was Biden, not McChrystal, who was "off the reservation," with his proposal.

Biden should keep his council private and use the chain of command. If Biden really has a problem with the Commander-in-chief, he should resign now, and then he can go as public as he likes.

Democrats, of course, philosophically hold the same position -- and blame McChrystal.

Splash, out


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Jason, actually, the increase in troops he proposed in the election already happened. There are two more combat brigade equivalents in Afghanistan than when he said it.

On the other hand, when he approved that increase in forces it was in the face of a request by McCrystal's predecessor for more troops than he actually got.

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