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Afghan Strategy Review To Take Weeks

From the Wall Street Journal:

White House Starts Review of Afghan Strategy

SEPTEMBER 30, 2009

By PETER SPIEGEL and JONATHAN WEISMAN

WASHINGTON — The White House began its review of the Afghan war strategy in earnest Tuesday, with senior administration officials meeting via videoconference with the top commander in Kabul, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, at the start of what could be weeks of debate over whether to send thousands of reinforcements.

White House officials said President Barack Obama will join in the discussions Wednesday [today], when he is expected to meet with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, among other top officials.

The White House unexpectedly decided to review its strategy in Afghanistan after a series of recent setbacks in the war, including allegations of fraud following last month’s presidential elections and surging violence throughout the country. It begins just days after Gen. McChrystal submitted his request for as many as 40,000 additional troops to the Pentagon.

Some in the administration, notably Mr. Biden, have argued for a smaller military footprint and a tighter focus on counterterrorism as the best way forward.

Advocates of such a shift point to the effective use of Predator drone strikes to kill Taliban leaders in Pakistan. Two additional Predators are expected to be shifted soon to the region to patrol the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, according to people familiar with the decision, a move that would bring the total drones in the theater to a number the military has wanted for years.

Mr. Obama gave voice to a possible shift in emphasis on Tuesday when he spoke of "dismantling, disrupting, destroying the al Qaeda network" as the mission, without mentioning the Taliban. He also said the U.S. is working with the Afghans to bring security to the country.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D., Mass.), who is emerging as an influential voice in the debate, was at the White House on Thursday to meet with the vice president. He too has said he is leaning toward a smaller counterterrorism strategy to supplant a larger military counterinsurgency effort.

After an Oval Office meeting Tuesday with the new secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Mr. Obama said the review will also include regular consultations with the U.S.’s NATO allies…

Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, said the early meetings are unlikely to include specific options for Mr. Obama to consider. Instead, he said, they will likely start with a discussion of Gen. McChrystal’s dire assessment of the current war effort, compiled last month separately from his troop request.

"This will take place over the course of several meetings and a number of weeks as we look at where we are, what’s happened in the intervening months since the president made a decision in March," Mr. Gibbs said.

Tuesday’s White House meeting included Gen. David Petraeus, commander of all U.S. forces in the Middle East and central Asia; Mr. Gates; Gen. McChrystal; and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

After years of pressing European allies for additional forces in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama made no mention of having discussed NATO contributions to the war effort after his meeting with Mr. Rasmussen

Funny how we were told that this was going to be put off until the White House was ready, which could be some time.

It looks like the backlash from the angry mob (formerly known as the citizenry) has made the White House get ready a little sooner.

But, gosh, we hope Mr. Obama has the time to get this all ironed out before he has to fly off to Copenhagen tomorrow.

Still, even if the can’t be in attendance, we will have Mr. Biden there:

Some in the administration, notably Mr. Biden, have argued for a smaller military footprint and a tighter focus on counterterrorism as the best way forward.

Perhaps we should divide Afghanistan into three autonomous sections. Right, Joe?

And of course Mr. Kerry can lead the way to victory:

He too has said he is leaning toward a smaller counterterrorism strategy to supplant a larger military counterinsurgency effort.

After all, who wants to be the last man to die for a mistake like Afghanistan? (Or even to be the last man to get some self-inflicted rice grains in one’s butt?)

After years of pressing European allies for additional forces in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama made no mention of having discussed NATO contributions to the war effort after his meeting with Mr. Rasmussen.

Perhaps because Mr. Obama knows that NATO will not be providing any more combat troops, despite the US begging them to.

And despite the mendacious claims from our watchdog media at the time that Mr. Obama was successful.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Afghan Strategy Review To Take Weeks”

  1. bill says:

    If the review were started in August when Gen McCrystal was done with his assessment, Oba-Mao’s review would be completed by now. All signs say the collapse of NATO in Afghanistan is eminent.

    Meanwhile, our troops are still dying … Does the media care now?

    • catie says:

      Nope. There was a report on Drudge yesterday that they don’t even show up anymore at Dover. Remember how they were clamoring to do so when Bush was in office. Now they don’t care. They don’t care about the military no matter what they say. And that stupid wife of the dear leader and the wife of “the sage of Delaware” can get on the tv and yap about the military personnel and their families. They don’t care, they only care about the idiots who are in the idiots for obama groups throughout the military. Yes, I said idiots because that is what they are. I ran into one of the big supporters at an Officer Spouse function that I knew from Ft. Stewart and she was raving about the idiot dear leader. I told her that I was sorry but I wasn’t interested. She was shocked.

  2. Confucius says:

    In nine short months, our dear dear president has found himself in two wars–Vietnam and Waterloo.

    What is a halfrican to do?

  3. proreason says:

    Don’t fool yourself into thinking the Moron has any intention of winning this war or protecting our country.

    The opposite is more likely to be the truth.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      For the case of “review” is all window dressing. Ultimately the boy will wave his hand and decide to send McChrystal “a couple’a folks” (meaning some more troops, but he has to say it ‘cool-like’ so as to impress the military) and it will further turn into a mess.

      I never thought we’d return to any scenario where a president would ever stick their fingers into tactical and strategic planning.

      Given that he is now manipulating the safety and welfare of our soldier/citizens who have volunteered for OUR safety, I actually believe that his life is now forfeit. It’s as simple as that. Commander in chief may just be a title to him, but the responsibilities are well above just mere words.

  4. GL0120 says:

    Of course it will take weeks; TCO is after all, a very busy man.
    Right now, he’s busy preparing to accept the glory of bringing the Olympics to Chicago.
    Yes, I know that he’s supposedly going to Copenhagen to make a bid but, as Rush pointed out yesterday, TCO is not in the habit of doing things that could lead to failure. The deal is done, and although he certainly had no part in it, he plans to take credit so as to feed his massive ego.
    There would be no ego boost in sending more troops to Afghanistan; General McChrystal has already publicly called for that, depriving TCO of any credit.
    Such a move would also leave TCO open to criticism from his far left fans, and criticism, along with responsibility, is not something that he can accept.
    No, he has to wait until he can find a way to provide the troops, bask in the accolades if successful, or dodge the blame if not. That is what will take several weeks.

  5. MinnesotaRush says:

    Commander-in-chief?!?!? Not this man! He is a disgusting puke!

    All the constant chitter chatter about George Bush having “blood on his hands” .. this fraud o-blah-blah truly does!

    He is a dangerous phony! A Trojan Horse!

    God Bless and Keep our troops safe!!!

    God Bless us, all!!!

  6. Liberals Demise says:

    BUTBUTBUT………The Olympics may be in Chi-Town.
    Now …..isn’t that better?


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