Monday, February 16, 2009

Obama Hedging on Afghanistan "Surge"?

President Obama is not getting off to a good start with the reckless stimulus bill. However, on the endless Middle Eastern War front, he appears more cautious. The 30,000 extra troops that the generals wanted for Afghanistan is not as rubber stamped as we thought it was, the Politico reports:
Rather than sign off quickly on all or part of a long-standing Pentagon request for three Army combat brigades and Marine units, totaling over 10,000 troops, Obama and his aides are questioning the timetable, the mission and even the composition of the new forces, officials familiar with the deliberations said.

The latest sign of crossed signals occurred Friday, when White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Obama "hasn't made a decision on augmenting our force structure in Afghanistan," three days after Pentagon officials said he would likely do so that week. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Obama's deliberate approach on his first troop decision "entirely appropriate."

Obama’s deliberate pace represents yet another break with the usual style of his predecessor. Former President George W. Bush usually signed off quickly on requests for additional troops from his commanders, and, especially early in his presidency, he rarely engaged in lengthy discussions about what the troops would be used for. Those decisions were generally worked out ahead of time between field commanders and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who favored holding down troop levels in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

We need a Commander In Chief who can think critically of this mission. If this article is right, Obama is questioning the mission itself. That's huge progress from Bush who signed everything put in front of him.

Surely, when weighing the evidence, and considering all the other problems in the US right now, the President will realize that it's a lost cause. But that's only step one. The real battle will be having the cojones to withdraw.

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