Thursday, October 22, 2009

President Obama, listen to your Generals

The Obama administration needs to stop waffling and order the increase in troops that the commander on the ground, Gen. McChrystal, has requested for Afghanistan. We have heard the talking-heads making the arguments for and against the increase; however, their primary focus has been to criticize the military for supposedly leaking Gen. McChrystal’s assessment or on the alleged rift between Obama and the military instead of on the real issues at hand, the safety of American and allied troops and the security of the Homeland.

President Obama’s senior aides, such as Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, claim he is weighing all the options and studying the situation before deciding to commit, or not commit, more troops to the fight in Afghanistan. That indicates that President Obama is not listening to those with the requisite experience and that are in the best positions to provide the most accurate recommendations; his chief military advisors, the Secretary of Defense and his handpicked commander on the ground. Considering the advice of anyone else, such as his Chief of Staff, who has never served in the military, or, even less reputable, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is simply preposterous since they do not have the background and are not in positions to provide the most accurate information to allow the president to make critical, military decisions in a timely manner.

Joe Klein stated in his blog, “a quick decision is not a good idea” until the Afghan elections are resolved to allow President Obama time to see “what the next Afghan governmnet [sic] is going to look like” as well as to see if our allies, the Canadians, British, Australians, and Dutch, will remain steadfast. Unfortunately, our allies are waiting for President Obama to make his decision; if he wavers and fails to meet the requirements outlined by Gen. McChrystal, it will indicate to our allies that he is no longer stalwart in his support for the “necessary war” and they will see no need to continue their support for the mission. Furthermore, not only will it signal to our allies, rightly or wrongly, that we are no longer sure of the fight, it will signal the same to our enemies, the Taliban and al-Qa`ida, and to our main ally in the region, Pakistan.

This indecisiveness and, more importantly, the failure to provide the required troops, will embolden our enemies at a crucial time in the war. The enemy could care less who sits in the president’s office in Kabul; they will not put the war on hold until a run-off election is held. Furthermore, unlike the Obama administration’s running of the war, they are quite sure of their objective, destroy everyone not adhering to their violently radical version of Islam, take over Afghanistan, install an extremely violent, perverted version of shari`a, then take the fight to America.

The longer President Obama takes to reinforce Gen. McChrystal, the more indecisive he seems and the quicker the enemy will seize the initiative, thus giving the advantage to the enemy as they will interpret the president's lack of resolve as a reflection of American society writ large, much like the North Vietnamese did after 1968, and use it to drive a wedge between the military and the American people, with the Obama White House in the middle.

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