**Posted by Phineas
Remember how President Obama used to deride the war in Iraq as a “war of choice,” while Afghanistan was the “war of necessity” that the Bush administration had botched and he would do right? Good times, good times.
In this episode of Trifecta, PJTV hosts Stephen Greene, Scott Ott, and Bill Whittle can barely contain their wrath at how President Obama has botched his “necessary war:”
Infighting, back-stabbing, and all-around immaturity topped off by nonexistent leadership from the (try not to roll your eyes) “Commander in Chief.”
Heckuva way to fight a war, isn’t it?
To be fair, rancor in the high command or between the services isn’t a new phenomenon: MacArthur didn’t play well with the Navy in WWII and famously had to be smacked down by Truman during the Korean War. Jealousy and rivalry among commanders was a problem for both the Union and the Confederacy during the Civil War, and the fractiousness and outright insubordination among Winfield Scott’s staff in Mexico was so bad, I’m amazed we won.
But that it happens doesn’t excuse the president from letting it go on. Obama is the only constitutional officer charged with overseeing the military — it is his job, and his alone, to if need be knock heads and give his staff, military and civilian their orders. That he hasn’t or couldn’t is a grave failure on his part.
I have to disagree with Bill Whittle’s summary somewhat: almost all the choices he describes were also faced by the Bush administration. The fact is we never really settled on a strategy for Afghanistan, counterterror vs. counterinsurgency, and whether what worked in Iraq would also work in far more primitive Afghanistan. The war muddled on for years.
But Obama showed those same uncertainties and ramped it up into a full-blown Hamlet act when trying to decide on a surge for Afghanistan, which took him valuable months and, when he did, it was grudging, halfhearted, and undermanned. And which he undercut by launching ludicrous negotiations with the Taliban, who are al Qaeda allies. Then –finally– when General Petraeus was appointed and began making serious progress, Obama pulled him out and sent him to the CIA. I think to sideline a potential electoral rival.
Thus, after three years, the war in Afghanistan is Obama’s and it is Obama who is losing it. That should be part of the record Americans review when making their choice for president next November.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)