Bill Roggio at the Long War Journal has a lengthy, informative report on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, and about how General Stanley McChrystal has reportedly threatened to resign if President Obama and the Pentagon do not act quickly to approve his request for more troops for an Iraq-like surge (via Memeo):
For Afghanistan, the process to decide on a course change began in March of this year, when Bruce Reidel was tasked to assess the situation. This produced the much-heralded yet vague “AfPak” assessment. Then, in May, General David McKiernan was fired and replaced by General McChrystal, who took command in June. General McChrystal’s assessment hit President Obama’s desk at the end of August, almost three months after he took command. And yet now in the last half of September, the decision on additional forces has yet to be submitted to the administration.
Contrast this with Iraq in the fall of 2006. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was fired just one day after the elections in early November. The Keane-Kagan plan for Iraq was submitted to President Bush shortly afterward, and encompassed both the assessment of the situation and the recommended course of action, including the recommended number of troops to be deployed to deal with the situation. General David Petraeus replaced General George Casey in early February 2007, and hit the ground running; the surge strategy was in place, troops were being mustered to deploy to Iraq, and commanders on the ground were preparing for and executing the new orders. The first of the surge units began to arrive in Iraq only weeks later, in March.
Today, the military is perceiving that the administration is punting the question of a troop increase in Afghanistan, and the military is even questioning the administration’s commitment to succeed in Afghanistan. The leaking of the assessment and the report that McChrystal would resign if he is not given what is needed to succeed constitute some very public pushback against the administration’s waffling on Afghanistan.
How reassuring it must have been for our men and women in harm’s way in Afghanistan to read/hear/watch about how – in the midst of the declining state of affairs there – our President, their CIC, appeared on David Letterman last night to talk about, in addition to ObamaCare, the fact that he was “black before the election.” How comforting I’m sure it was this morning for them to read and/or hear/watch our President, their CIC, speak so boldly at the UN on the need for American to be “determined to act” on climate change.
But on the issue of Afghanistan? I hear what you hear: Crickets chirping.
Uncle Jimbo rants:
He was sent to Afghanistan to command and win. He needs more troops to do that, which everyone knows. He is getting slow-rolled as the White House sniffs the political breezes. President Obama talked a big game on the campaign trail and in March announced his new strategy. Now that he has gotten beaten up over all his big government plans, he is tap dancing on Afghanistan. He has had McChrystal’s report for more than three weeks and reportedly has held only one meeting about it.
President Obama: MIA on the issue of Afghanistan as both a Senator and Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on European Affairs, and MIA on the issue as President and CIC, in spite of his promises both last year and this year that Afghanistan was where we needed to “refocus and re-engage.”
This is what happens when you have a President who believes in appeasing rather than winning.