Monday, September 28, 2009

Afghan Strategy Pospone Delay Abandon

by Ron Spangler

President Obama has made his decision on troop reinforcement or a surge in Afghanistan. And that is, postpone or delay his decision for another 5-6 weeks. I suppose by then his next decision will be to abandon Afghanistan. He may decide Al Qaeda has been sufficiently defeated and is no longer a direct threat. Maybe he will say we will no longer participate in nation building and Afghans must decide who will govern Afghanistan for themselves.

It is evident that Afghanistan and our troops that are there are not high on the Obama list of priorities. With the Health Care Reform plan taking so much of his time he seems to have lost interest in Afghanistan. Now we find out he is off to Denmark to sell Chicago for the 2016 Olympics. It seems the Olympic games scheduled for 2016 have taken priority over the war.

The President said during his campaign Afghanistan was number one on his priority list. He said never mind Iraq, Afghanistan is where we should be and he would concentrate his every effort to destroy Al Qaeda and win in Afghanistan. After being elected he said he had a new strategy for Afghanistan. Now we find out 6 months later that his previously announced strategy was 'study the situation and come up with a new strategy'. Meanwhile the war is escalating and more of our troops are being killed because they don't have sufficient numbers to counter the growing Taliban attacks.

President Obama is showing his inability to lead by his failure to understand the nature and complexity of war. In our system of government military decisions fall to the Commander In Chief elected by the people. We the people have not elected Commander In Chiefs based on their military experience but we expect our Commander In Chief to listen to his experienced military leaders when we are fighting a war. We expect the Command In Chief to make timely decisions that will limit the number of casualties that our military forces will receive during a war. While the very nature of war means casualties cannot be avoided it does not mean the rate has to be increased because the Commander In Chief decides to question his hand picked generals on the ground. When a commander on the ground bluntly states that the next 12 months will decide victory or failure and any delays in supplying more troops will add to the likelihood of failure, the Commander In Chief cannot put off a decision because of Health Care Reform, Olympics, or any other decisions he thinks is more demanding. Nothing should be more demanding than a war and supporting the troops on the ground.

Through his actions, it looks like President Obama thinks it is more important to fundamentally transform America into something very similar to a Socialist state than it is to winning a war. He has dedicated most of his time to bailing out one industry after another with taxpayer money, taking over the auto industry, doing away with private health care, increasing the school year for public schools, and now the 2016 Olympics for Chicago. In all this time it has been reported that he has met with Gen. McChrystal one time since appointing the general 6 months ago. It is clear President Obama is simply not interested in Afghanistan.

In the 1956 movie The Ten Commandments Yul Brynner as the Pharaoh Ramses said "So let it be written, so let it be done." This seems to be the attitude of President Obama. All he has to say is "do this" and it will be done. The world is too complicated and people are too complicated to think that just because you want something done it will get done. As the Pharaoh found out this is arrogant, naive and dangerous. When fighting a war you cannot say "here you are in charge, here is an additional 20K troops go win it" and expect it to be over. You cannot say to Wall Street "here is all the taxpayer money you want, if its not enough we will print more" and expect the economy to miraculously heal itself. You cannot expect to give the same old tired speech 24/7 around the country and not expect push back on Health Care Reform if the majority of people refuse your ideas of reform. And you cannot win wars or lead a nation by saying, "So let it be written, so let it be done."

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