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Obama To Send 34K Troops To Afghanistan

From McClatchy:

Obama plans to send 34,000 more troops to Afghanistan

By Jonathan S. Landay, John Walcott and Nancy A. Youssef | McClatchy Newspapers

November 23, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama met Monday evening with his national security team to finalize a plan to dispatch some 34,000 additional U.S. troops over the next year to what he’s called "a war of necessity" in Afghanistan, U.S. officials told McClatchy.

Obama is expected to announce his long-awaited decision on Dec. 1, followed by meetings on Capitol Hill aimed at winning congressional support amid opposition by some Democrats who are worried about the strain on the U.S. Treasury and whether Afghanistan has become a quagmire, the officials said.

The U.S. officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the issue publicly and because, one official said, the White House is incensed by leaks on its Afghanistan policy that didn’t originate in the White House.

They said the commander of the U.S.-led international force in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, could arrive in Washington as early as Sunday to participate in the rollout of the new plan, including testifying before Congress toward the end of next week…

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to brief America’s NATO allies after next week’s announcement, and the allies are to meet again on Dec. 7 in Belgium to discuss whether some other nations might contribute additional troops.

The Monday evening meeting was the ninth that Obama has held on the crisis in Afghanistan, where the worsening war entered its ninth year last month. This year has seen violence reach unprecedented levels as the Taliban and allied groups have gained strength and expanded their reach.

A U.S. military official used the term "decisional" to describe Monday evening’s meeting among Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Gates, Clinton, National Security Adviser Jim Jones, Eikenberry and senior U.S. military commanders.

The administration’s plan contains "off-ramps," points starting next June at which Obama could decide to continue the flow of troops, halt the deployments and adopt a more limited strategy or "begin looking very quickly at exiting" the country, depending on political and military progress, one defense official said.

"We have to start showing progress within six months on the political side or military side or that’s it," the U.S. defense official said…

The approach is driven in part by concerns that Afghan President Hamid Karzai won’t keep his promises to root out corruption and support political reforms, and in part by growing domestic opposition to the war, the U.S. officials said…

Last week, Clinton suddenly adopted a more conciliatory tone toward Karzai, whom she and other administration officials had been pressing to clean up the rampant corruption and cut his ties to local warlords, some of whom traffic in opium.

In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, she said that Karzai had demonstrated "good faith" and added: "Well, there are warlords and there are warlords."

As part of its new plan, the administration, which remains skeptical of Karzai, will "work around him" by working directly with provincial and district leaders, a senior U.S. defense official told McClatchy.

The plan adopted by Obama would fall well short of the 80,000 troops McChrystal suggested in August as a "low-risk option" that would offer the best chance to contain the Taliban-led insurgency and stabilize Afghanistan.

It splits the difference between two other McChrystal options: a "high-risk" approach that called for 20,000 additional troops and a "medium-risk" option that would add 40,000 to 45,000 troops…

The administration’s plan is expected to encounter opposition on Capitol Hill, where some senior Democrats have suggested that the administration may need to raise taxes in order to pay for the additional troops

All of this dithering over a measly 6,000 soldiers? (Lest we forget, General McChrystal’s original request was for 40,000 more troops, according to the first reports all those months ago.)

And notice that we still have the same purportedly corrupt regime in Afghanistan. (Only now they will be even less inclined to cooperate with us, after our brilliant President has tried to push them out of power.)

It simply goes to show that Mr. Obama’s delay had nothing to do with the actual decision, and everything to ramming ‘healthcare reform’ through Congress. Which is now effectively accomplished.

Obviously, Mr. Obama believed sending to reinforcements to Afghanistan would tick off a sizeable portion of his constituency who are (supposedly) flooding switchboards and email boxes with their messages of support.

In the final analysis, Mr. Obama cared more about protecting his ‘army’ rather than the nation’s. Which is why he has been so apoplectic about the ‘leaks’ of his deliberations.

But we believe Mr. Obama was mistaken even his concern about losing his anti-war supporters. For there is no ‘war protestors’ around nowadays.

And yet we still have soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Albeit, to a lesser extent in Iraq.) Those wars are still going on. But somehow all protestors have disappeared.

There are no demonstrations. No anti-war bumper-stickers on cars. No graffiti. Apparently the same wars that were so terrible under Bush are now completely acceptable under Obama.

Why is that?

Oh, and speaking of ‘healthcare reform,’ note this laffer, buried at the end of the article:

The administration’s plan is expected to encounter opposition on Capitol Hill, where some senior Democrats have suggested that the administration may need to raise taxes in order to pay for the additional troops…

You see, we have to raise taxes to be able to afford to send 34,000 soldiers (who, after all, are already on the government payroll) to Afghanistan.

It has nothing to do with their $2.5 trillion dollar healthcare reform.

But how much do you want to bet that this is the real reason Obama is finally ‘decisional’ about sending the reinforcements. And why he has been talking up their expense in recent weeks.

He now figures can use them as an excuse for raising our taxes for the rest of his insane spending.

He is that calculating. He is that despicable.

That transparent.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, November 24th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Obama To Send 34K Troops To Afghanistan”

  1. proreason says:

    The polling is complete.

    It must be crystal clear that pulling out of Afghanistan would have created an even more savage beast than the spending and the destruction of national security.

    By any conventional standard, the risks they are taking have mounted to astonomical proportions:
    – cutting Medicare funding
    – huge tax increases
    – toadying to foreign leaders
    – throwing Poland to the worlves, and sticking fingers in the eyes of each of our traditional allies
    – putting the most vile terrorist of all on trial in NYC
    – transparently lying about the economy
    – transparently shovellling booty to Wall Street money men while main street shrivels
    – and now this. It’s definitely the Moron’s war now. An amazing risk

    The list could be longer.

    But just the short list indicates that they are not sane by any conventional political measure.

    So something else is happening.

    As I’ve said before, our country is in mortal peril, not next month, not next year. Right now. They aren’t taking these risks because they are madcap, wild and crazy guys. There is something else going on. And whatever it is, it is very very dangerous to all of us.

  2. bronzeprofessor says:

    Well, if I’ve learned anything since joining the Army, I’ve learned we can’t take any report as final. The announcement isn’t due until December 1, which means something might change and Obama might react to our criticism here by suddenly saying he’s going to pull all the troops out.

    I support the office of Commander in Chief, but I can’t stress enough how much strain, uncertainty, and real danger this prolonged and dilatory decision process has imposed on those of us who are going to serve out there. I hope future decisions are made more expeditiously. And I hope the Democrats in Congress don’t play chess with our lives by revolting against the war by holding up funding.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      First off ……… Welcome back ol’ friend!

      Why bother sending any troops if it comes with a six month “Show progress or we”ll go” clause?
      Don’t think our enemies ain’t watching our political weakness from the spineless jellyfish running the show.

      Either fight them there or we will fight them here. (just get the hell outta the way)
      “F & A”

    • Petronius says:

      Memo to bronzeprof:

      Hooah !

    • caligirl9 says:

      Professor, it is so nice to hear from you again. I have been wondering how it’s been going for you … a true patriot, defending what you believe in.

      I seriously wonder what benchmarks will be used for “showing progress.” Because I don’t think there is anyone smart enough in this current administration to be able to tell …

      Keep yourself safe … your safety will be in my prayers.

  3. Petronius says:

    “We have to start showing progress within six months on the political side or military side or that’s it….”

    Six months starting from when?

    From now?

    Or from the historical start of the Afghanistan fighting season in late Spring?

    Having dithered for three months, our troops will now be arriving after the onset of the Afghanistan winter. Does this mean that our forces are expected to fight — and win — a winter campaign against the Taliban — after the Taliban has disbursed its forces back into the hills and villages?

    Isn’t that a bit of a tall order?

    • proreason says:

      Looks like you’re trying to apply some common sense there, Petro.

      Don’t get tricked into thinking that this has anything to do with winning a war.

      For this guy, winning is definitely not an option.

  4. wardmama4 says:

    When is someone going to point out that Stimulus, TARP, Auto bailiouts, & Healthcare are NOT in the Constitution as an enumerated power for Congress to spend on – but that Defense of the Nation is

    Yes – now that it leaked out that he ‘plans’ to send more troops – when something goes wrong (as pointed out as we go into an Afghan winter) he can call it quits – as he has ‘qualified’ his sending troops.

    Probably just like the ‘qualified’ healthcare plans we will get under Obamacare – if we don’t meet their conditions – we don’t get any of the ‘benefits’.

  5. Tater Salad says:

    Just in: The United States Constitution has been located in a dumpster behind the White House.


  6. sheehanjihad says:

    The one thing that ALL of the troops in Afghanistan need to be ordered……do NOT take any prisoners. At all. None. If you want to interrogate…do so with the end result showing that the jihadist was overcome by the strain…..

    There is a very real possibility that whoever injures a jihadist in the commission of taking them prisoner will be charged with assault or worse.

    The simple solution to that horribly flawed thinking is….Dead men cant file charges! Those three Seals are a prime example of the stupidity that passes for leadership anymore.

    Bottom line? Leave them where they lay…unable to move, talk, or become the poster child for the jihadists by perverting our justice system. Our ROE should be altered..immediately.

  7. proreason says:

    “There is a very real possibility that whoever injures a jihadist in the commission of taking them prisoner will be charged with assault or worse. ”

    That happened yesterday.

    SEALS are being court-martialed because they allegedly bloodied the lip of one of the most-wanted Terrorists.

    I’m not kidding.

    See my post from yesterday in “news selected by our correspondents”

  8. eaglewingz08 says:

    Obama’s advisors have stated that he will only send ONE brigade (4,500 soldiers) EVERY THREE MONTHS. Thus there will only be at best, NINE THOUSAND additional soldiers in Afghanistan. Imagine if Bush had said that he will add nine thousand out of 50,000 additional troops and if he didn’t see improvement within six months, he will start his exit strategy, we would have been appalled. Likewise we should be appalled about a June 2010 off ramp when the soldiers haven’t gotten up to full strength. Mr. Obama’s off ramps will mean that the Taliban will have a powerful incentive to do their worst damage by next June in order to convince Obama that the war is lost and to wait out the fleeing of the infidel americans from Afghanistan.

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