I do love how some circles are calling the 'leak' of this report as something sinister. I think we as Americans have a very short attention span.
Levin: U.S. surge in Afghanistan a bad idea - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times
That was ten days ago.
There are clearly advisors around the President that are saying this is a bad idea. The leak from an 'unknown source' was most likely in the Pentagon. That is just how these things work, and the leak was meant to publically debate what is going on.
In a sense both sides have some valid points, the one is concern about the effect of more foreigners in Afghanistan, which has historically tended to unite the tribes in a rather hostile manner. That being said, more troops ARE needed to stabilize the situation.
I think it is refreshing to see a CINC that is taking some time to make sure that the implimentation of these additional soldiers is done properly, and the political (State) interests are given commencerate consideration to miliary interests (Defense). Although military means may be necessary to win the war, the final settlement will be political.
A little bit of patience now may save us a great deal of heart ache later.
We don't exactly have an infinite number of chances to get this right.
1. Yesterday, during the Omnipresence of Obama, the president was asked on all 4 English-speaking channels about Afghanistan.
2. On all 4, as is the story of the day, he answered identically, using the exact same phraseology, even.
3. He said, when asked about sending more troops, he was waiting to conduct his "top to bottom review" (except on CNN he called it a "soup to nuts reevalution"), he didn't want to put his cart before his horse, he was committed to putting off "the resource question until after the strategy question" has been resolved.
4. On CBS, Schieffer asked him straight up---"will you send a larger force to Afghanistan?"
5. The Chin in Chief replied---"no, I haven't yet received that request."
6. The DATE on General McChrystal's leaked assessment above is August 30, more than THREE WEEKS AGO.
7. Therefore, the president yesterday LIED.
8. Schieffer also foresaw today's revelation, apparently, asking---if the general asks for more troops, "won't it be hard to say no?"
9. The assessment leaked to The Post today blatantly contradicts the Chin's position stated 4 times yesterday.
10. The only reason Obama has any interest in the region in the first place is because he made it such a high priority during his campaign, so eager to prove to the people that he was not your traditional anti-military, blame-America-first democrat.
11. He opposed W's War in Iraq, he said, because it was the "wrong war."
12. The mountains on the moon in Afghanistan, in contrast, were the appropriate purlieu for this final showdown with international terror.
13. Now, he's stuck with it.
14. John King on CNN asked, when will Afghanistan become "Obama's War?"
15. We're clearly past that point.
16. King asked---during the campaign you promised to "crush Al Qaeda and kill Osama Bin Laden," is it harder than you thought it would be?
17. The Chin chimed in---oh, I think I knew during the campaign it was going to be hard.
18. Everything is so "hard," from health care to setting the tone of civility to changing "this town" to determining the "appropriate role of government."
19. Going on Letterman aint easy either, presumably.
20. On CNN, Senate Republican Leader McConnell pledged support for the president should he decide (once he receives that assessment he's been sitting on for THREE WEEKS) to commit to victory in Afghanistan.
21. Obama can't blame this one on Fox.
22. The United States, however, has ZERO chance of success in Moon Mountains.
23. The USSR's Gorby put 200,000 troops there for ten years and discovered only defeat.
24. The USSR also fought with a WILL to win alien to this administration.
25. Indeed, Gorby's loss in Afghanistan was one of the principle reasons Stalin's evil empire ultimately collapsed.
26. Obama wants OUT.
27. His party too is almost universally committed to retreating from the forlorn region.
28. Obama will eventually DROP Afghanistan just like his public option, just like cap and trade, just like his prosecution of the CIA.
29. It's only a matter of time.
30. When he does, it will be a strategic and military defeat of planetary scope for America.
31. And an equally soaring setback for this president politically.
32. McChrystal warns "defeat is likely."
33. The stability of the Karzai regime is as problematic as the insurgency itself, says Obama's hand-picked general.
34. Obama yesterday, pressed by CNN's King ("didn't Karzai steal the election?") would not comment on the legitimacy of the recent plebiscite there.
35. But McChrystal, in the leaked assessment, sure did---"the result is a crisis of confidence amongst Afghans."
36. "Further, a perception that our resolve is uncertain makes Afghans reluctant to align with us against insurgents."
37. Other problems, according to the president's man: our strategy needs to be more concerned with protecting Afghans from terrorists and less focused on killing the enemy.
38. We do not sufficiently understand Afghanistan's "social, political, economic and cultural affairs," as well, says the top US and NATO commander.
39. The prisons are full of radical Islamists who make their plans freely behind barbed wire and recruit converts to their cause from the petty trespassers comprising the prison population.
40. McChrystal continues to teach lessons on which the president, according to Obama, awaits elucidation---we are facing in the land that grounded Gorbachev a "three headed insurgency."
41. The most dangerous element to our interests, according to McChrystal, is the Taliban, led by Mullah Omar, and headquartered in Pakistan.
42. Shadow Taliban governments control spacious provincial precincts, establish Sharia courts in their strongholds, impose taxes and conscript soldiers.
43. The second-in-size security peril posed to our soldiers is the Haqqani Network located in the southeast, with ties to Al Qaeda in next-door Pakistan.
44. And the third threat to US interests comes from the Hezb-e Islamic Gulbuddin, which operates from 3 regional bases and is led by former Mujahadeen commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
45. Toward the end of his report, McChrystal revisits his central theme: "Failure to provide adequate resources also risks a longer conflict, greater casualties, higher overall costs, and ultimately, a critical loss of political support. Any of these risks, in turn, are likely to result in mission failure."
46. Problems, problems everywhere, when will this poor president produce a positive piece of press?
McChrystal: More Forces or 'Mission Failure'
Last edited by The Prof; 09-21-09 at 09:40 PM.
Well, you are assuming that the ONLY agency that has input to Afghanistan is the Defense Department, specifically GEN McCrystral's ISAF command. Admiral Mike Mullens has also come out in support of the the plan, and that was last week. That means the Joint Chiefs of Staff and most likely the SECDEF agrees with the assessment. However, there has been serious reservations about the program from the state department, and those likewise came out last week.
There are several agencies of government involved in this process, and interagency effort supported by Gates. Defense is focused on security aspects, and state is focused on political aspects. The two need to be in harmony, or at least the assurance that one area will not unduly influence the other area.
What you are seeing here is the time it will take to reconcile the state position with the defense position.
A good commander does not make a deicion without considering the implications. There is not sense in rushing to failure, and not wanting to do so make no man a liar.
he told bob schieffer, "i haven't yet received that request"
within 24 hours The Post published a piece contradicting him
The Post's headline was a disaster for the admin
afghanistan is a sure, dead loser
militarily and politically
but, hey, at least it got health care off the front page
"The union, next to our liberty most dear." John C. Calhoun
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." -Tenth Amendment, US Constitution