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Becoming Obama's War


This past week, President Obama has waded into the international arena in some very demonstrative ways. He started by delivering a well received speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations, carefully noting how his administration is going to be different than the previous administration. He became the first President to address the Security Council and passed a popular resolution to get rid of nuclear weapons in the world, and appeared vindicated by exposing (in solidarity with England and France) the existence of a secret nuclear facility in Iran.

But, it is President Obama’s decision on General McChrystal’s proposed strategy revision with its emphasis on counter-insurgency which could define his presidency. Adoption of this strategy guarantees two points. First, the deployment of 40K soldiers essentially doubles the amount of soldiers in Afghanistan. Recently, the number deployed has risen above 40K, but historically, the total has been below that amount. Secondly, a counter-insurgency doctrine means a long dwell time in Afghanistan, i.e. it would take more time, not less.

In essence, he is on the verge of exacting his own print on the conflict in Afghanistan, i.e. it would not longer be Bush’s War, but it would become Obama’s War.


RogueThrill 8 years, 6 months ago

I am hoping it becomes someone else's war. It seems dumb to send troops in to try and defeat the previous corrupt government and Al-Qaida only to have them replaced with another corrupt government.

That would be a waste of American money and lives.

Ronda Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

I agree with Rogue. I think Obama is well on his way to bankrupting this country in ways George's brain would never have been able to conceive.

Troops in Afghanistan are a total waste.of time, money, resources, and especially lives.

We need to spend our energy on rebuilding our own country, our economy, and put our precious young lives to work in a positive manner. We can do it! Yes, we can!

RogueThrill 8 years, 6 months ago

I agree with Rogue. I think Obama is well on his way to bankrupting this country in ways George's brain would never have been able to conceive.


Don't conflate my opinion with yours, please.

devobrun 8 years, 6 months ago

"corrupt government" is a redundant term.

jaywalker 8 years, 6 months ago

Get out of Afghanistan, Mr. President. If you were to decide to continue fighting I'm confident your rationale for remaining and increasing troop levels wouldn't be so myopic and moronic as, say, someone who believes it's all just to catch one man. But that country won't be tamed, not now not ever. Ask the Russians. I would love to see the Taliban wiped out but Rogue's point above is accurate; once we split, there's a a new warlord same as the old warlord. We're not any good at nation building anyway and Afghanistan is not a viable 'try try again' opportunity. Please call it off.

jafs 8 years, 6 months ago

The somewhat wider perspective is that we used the Afghans to help us bring down the Russians, at great cost to them and their country, and then lost interest in helping them rebuild.

That was what created the rise to power of the Taliban there in the first place.

We should learn from that mistake.

RogueThrill 8 years, 6 months ago

Rogue, what a snob you sound like


I don't want my reasons for thinking we need to get out f Afghanistan to be confused with the PUMAs. I am sorry, but I don't have any beef with the President other than he is not left enough.

tbaker 8 years, 6 months ago

In spite of the fact President Obama announced a "new" strategy for Afghanistan last March, he really doesn't have a National Security Strategy. He is currently using President Bush's National Security Strategy.

Why is that? Does he like President Bush's National Security Strategy? Is coming up with his own something he is finding very difficult? Whats the deal?

His vacillation over US Afghan policy will soon become a moral imperative. Not having a clear purpose for putting Americans in harms always causes a very ugly visceral reaction from the US public. Losing this war will be equally damaging to his administration.

The fact is we cannot achieve a counter-terrorism end-state (defeat Al Qaeda, etc) without first doing a counter-insurgency operation. There isn't a choice between one or the other; counter-insurgency is the means to Mr. Obama's stated end. There is no one on this earth who knows this hard reality better than Stan McChrystal. The president should listen to him.

Satirical 8 years, 6 months ago

RogueThrill… “Don't conflate my opinion with yours, please.”

You are the only one who conflated her opinion with yours.

She stated, as you already quote, “I agree with Rogue. I think Obama is well on his way to bankrupting this country in ways George's brain would never have been able to conceive.”

Your opinion and hers are clearly distinct and separate. The subtle clue was the period after she said she agreed with you, and then started a new sentence (her opinion). She agreed with your opinion and then added her own. She could have been clearer if she would have said, “Also, I think…,” but even so, it was clear to the average reader she was not attempting to put words in your mouth, or conflate the two distinct opinions.

Satirical 8 years, 6 months ago

Where did all the anti-war protests go? Or can liberals only do something when MoveOn tells them to?

Ronda Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

I would agree with you, Satirical, but fear you would think I was "conflate my opinion with yours"...... ;) Thanks for being able to read.....

jonas_opines 8 years, 6 months ago

I think there might be a pair of revisionists popping up here.

Satirical 8 years, 6 months ago

justbegintowrite... "Thanks for being able to read….."

A skill too few possess (especially on the LJWorld).

It's almost like some people are looking to get offended.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 6 months ago

this administration will never cop to anything. I predict that they will still be blaming their woes on the previous administration as they lick their wounds from the 2012 election.

Henry Salmans 8 years, 6 months ago

I remember President Obama consistently calling Afghanistan the Necessary War during his bid for election. During that time he pledged new resources. He also criticized President Bush for neglecting this conflict. Soon after taking office, President Obama sent approximately 21,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, I believe the total should currently number more that 60,000.

President Obama sent General McChrystal to Afghanistan (five months ago) as the top military commander to devise a new strategy for winning the war.

General McChrystal has requested, may I say somewhat urgently, an additional 40,000 troops. My understanding is that General McChrystal also predicted failure should Afghanistan not receive immediate attention. Recently I’ve been listening/following some of the criticism that President Obama hasn’t been communicating with General McChrystal or taking decisive action. I’m not sure of what the truth is, but I do know that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, receives daily briefs and by extension the President is advised daily on military concerns throughout the world.

This afternoon President Obama is meeting with his full team of national security advisers, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the above mentioned military officers. I am interested in following what is reported as a result of that ‘publicly’ announced meeting.

As a former enlisted Marine and Officer my only dog in this fight is to pray that America’s brave military men and women serving in Harm’s Way get the support they need. May this concern get the attention it deserves and may we discuss our opinions with dignity, respect, and thoughtfulness.

With Utmost Respect ~ Semper Fi, Major Hank Salmans, III – USMC (Retired)

lee66049 8 years, 6 months ago

Doesn't seem that long ago liberals were claiming the military wasn't getting the help they needed. They paraded retired generals on CNN, CBS, and MSNBC on a regular basis about how the Bush administration was not giving the battlefield commanders they support they needed. Last year Obama stated Bush had taken his eye off the ball in Afghanistan. Now, less than a year later, McChrystal, the battlefield commander is requesting more troops and Obama can't even call the general on the phone. I hope Obama gets that much needed money pit called the Olympics for Chicago. That's what we need....spend more money we don't have for things we don't need with no return on investment, yet turn a blind eye to the people that matter....troops in battle.

Satirical 8 years, 6 months ago

DevilDogBrew… “I’m not sure of what the truth is…”

McChrystal said in an interview on '60 minutes' on Sunday that he has only talked to Obama once since his appointment (I can provide the link if you want). Even though Obama gets daily briefs, I am concerned that Obama isn’t talking to his top commander in Afghanistan more often; especially when so many U.S. lives are at stake.

jonas_opines 8 years, 6 months ago

"It's almost like some people are looking to get offended."

. . . and like some are looking to offend.

I agree with Satirical. Everyone on the right is a total idiot, and not a single one can read.

The natural result of that sentence structure is to believe that such was your opinion, and the only people who would deny that are those seeking to cover themselves, and those seeking to snidely start fights using picky semantic technicalities.

Guess which one you are.

tbaker 8 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for your service devil dog. I appreciate it. Good to see you on the blog. Hope you stick around.

Keep an open mind. Some of this stuff forces you to suspend your disbelief.

From a retired LTC / Iraq vet.

Liberty275 8 years, 6 months ago

I wonder why we don't see any more war protests and kids chaining themselves to recruitment offices anymore.

It's fascinating to say the least.

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